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Rain stops play - Crane viewing dates cancelled

I regret that we have taken the decision to cancel all of the crane viewing events between January 4th and 30th. 


 Crane feeding point..... and no cranes.....


The cranes have caught us on the hop a little this year - but although we apologise for any inconvenience and frustration that this has caused members of the public   - we should really be rejoicing - as the cranes are simply behaving too much like wild birds! 


They are fending incredibly well for themselves at the moment and are simply not interested insupplementary feed.    The wet and warm weather of December and January (so far) has made earthworms and other tasty soil-dwelling treats freely available.  When they have this food choice is in abundance, the cranes are simply  just not interested in supplementary wheat and maize feed...and they roam freely about the landscape.


It is the provision of supplementy feed that has given the project the opportunity to predict and manipulate the location of the birds in order to provide a safe, accessible viewing opportunity in previous years.  It would appear that this year, so far at least, this is just not going to work.  Perhaps they will still come to feeding locations if we get a significant change in the weather.... or perhaps not.


As well as the year being exceptional weather-wise, the cranes are also now older, and wiser, and have learnt where to go to exploit different food sources.  They are also flying much further afield, and are easily disturbed from fields as there are plenty of other, quieter and inaccessible feeding areas available. This also means that they head into some very quiet and un-viewable parts of a very flat and currently very wet and muddy landscape.


We are currently still planning to go ahead with the event on 31st Jan  - but will make a decision on 25th January whether to proceed.


 


   

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Damon’s role is to act as the hub of the project - making sure everyone involved knows what is going on and that it is all running smoothly. He is also responsible for project community awareness work in Somerset, construction of the release enclosure, and running the post release monitoring work in Somerset.  Damon works alongside the RSPB reserve teams in Somerset.