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Damon Bridge's blog

Oldest cranes reach a critical point in their lives

Crane Roost site on the Levels and Moors

  Typical summer roost site on the Levels & Moors

Monty and Chris' egg hatches... but their chick is lost

Some sad news I'm afraid.Monty and Chris - the pair of cranes that had been nesting up at Slimbridge have sadly lost their first chick 1-2 days after hatching.

Fantastic News.... Monty and Chris are incubating!

We have some wonderful news to share.

Egg Collection now complete

The 2013, and penultimate year of egg collection has now been completed, with the last 14 eggs arriving back at the Great Crane Project rearing facility at Slimbridge in the early hours of Sat 11th May.  Hatching is now happening thick and fast with over 1/3 of the eggs having now turned into hungry little chicks.   We expect that the hatching period will be over by around 22nd May.   Amy, Harry, Claire and Tan will now be very busy!  Keep your eye on the GCP facebook pages for lots of cute chick photos!   And h

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Who's with whom?

The last couple of months have been a fascinating time and we have been seeing the cranes start to form pair-bonds with lots of display, agression and interesting allegiances forming.   The chart above has all the 2010 and 2011 males in the first column and then the females that are most closely bonded to them in the second column.    The most definite and obvious pairs we have so far are:

Let the hatching commence!

  Egg number 4 - which 'pipped' last night.

Fantastic news... the first of the eggs transported back on 1st May has just begun the hatching process - watch this space for more exciting news soon!

and the coldest hour, is just before dawn....

...and also the best time to listen out for potential pairs of cranes on their territories!  

Over the last few weeks a number of intrepid volunteers have been joining me in pre-dawn surveys across the levels and moors of Somerset, to listen out for the morning reveille - the courtship bugle of a crane pairs.   They tend to do this once they have established a territory - in a wet, quiet spot with plenty of decent chick rearing habitat near by.

R.I.P. D2

  Green Yellow Blue in September 2012.

...if you think its cold in the UK...

 Cranes in northern Germany March 2013.  Thanks for the photo Jane Muenstermann!

Phelps and the fishing line

 Phelps looking pretty sorry for himself in March 2013 with fishing tackle dangling from beak.