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Scores on the Doors, Success on the Moors.

Legend, Elle and their 2017 chick in flight.   Legend, Elle, and their chick in flight. Aug 23rd 2017.

This year has seen the first successful fledging of 2nd generation cranes from the RSPB reserve in Somerset where the reintroduced cranes were released.  This has been an odd year for the cranes.  We think that the very dry weather in the early part of the spring led to many pairs either not being in breeding conditon and choosing not to breed - or not able to find a suitable wet, quiet and undisturbed nesting area as so many sites were so dry.  Of those that did, on the RSPB's Reserve at West Sedgemoor, an incredible 3 pairs held territories, nested, underwent full-term incubation and then reared 4 chicks to fledge.  In total this process takes over 6 months  - and the eggs and flightless chicks are particularly vulnerable, requiring 3-4 undisturbed months, safe from predation.   John Crispin, one of the local volunteer team who monitor the birds in Somerset managed to get this shot of the first fledged crane from the reserve.  The chick will continue to be reared by the parent birds through the winter.  Its father, Legend (ringed Red White Red in the left of the photo) and mother Elle, are both 6 year old birds.   Two of this year’s four chicks were caught, radio tagged, and colour ringed by a local volunteer team so that their fortunes can be monitored – but this one escaped the teams attempts!   The other 3 chicks from this year are still alive and well but as yet  they have not been seen in flight.  In total, over 60 of the original released birds survive, with and additional 11  2nd generation birds produced over the last 3 years.   Accurate survival figures will be established over the autumn and winter months as the birds start to gather together once again and can be re-sighted and counted.


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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.