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Wild Naked Legs and wandering cranes

 60 cranes in flight over Somerset - October 2013

Over the last few days some of the crane project birds - released in 2010 and 2011 have found their way up to the wetlands of the Severn Vale and the grounds of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Reserve at Slimbridge.    Currently,  Twinkle, Gemma, Mennis, Wendy, Minnie, Ruby, Sedge, Bart, Monty, Chris, Lofty and Elle can be seen roaming the grounds from the various hides.  They are often in the company of an unringed, crane of unknown origin -  who has picked up the catchy and endearing nickname 'Wild Naked Legs'.  This bird looks like a young, probably 2-year old bird, and is likely to be either an offspring from one of the 12 pairs that nest annually in the UK, or a drifter from the thousands on migration through continental Europe at the moment. Wild Naked Legs has been feeding around the Trust's reserve grounds for nearly a month now.   

Meanwhile - the group of 20 new recruits to Somerset are doing really well and we are getting regularly sightings of a flock of 50+ birds  - half the UK's resident crane population!  They have most recently been feeding on maize stubble and in pastures around Stathe/Stoke St. Gregory.

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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.