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Jet-Set Millie!

A few weeks ago, one member of the 2011 crane cohort, Mildred, or 'Millie', unfortunately dissapeared.  She was presumed to have either been lost due to predation or from the strong winds generated by ex-hurricane Katia.  It was to great delight and amazment when news came through that she had been sighted!  Not just on a neighbouring moor, or a few miles down the road, but in far eastern Kent!  This is a direct journey of nearly 180 miles, as the crane flies, an amazing feat for such a young bird.


Have-a-go Cosmo

Cosmo  - having a go at Albert who is trying to feed within the pen.

Despite all this aggression, the 2010 and 2011 birds are now getting along well, and regularly feeding and roosting together.

Photo - Nick Upton  (thanks Nick!)

Cranes at Muchelney Abbey?

Some cranes amongst the abbey ruins


All loved up in Somerset

  Minnie, Squidgy and Vince - a bizarre love triangle ??

Feathers and flight

This week it is really noticeable how quickly the cranes are starting to grow their proper feathers. On a windy day some of the larger birds are starting to jump into the air with wings stretched and show the feathers protruding from the sheaths. This picture shows blue/yellow/white's primary feathers appearing and the one below is white/green/white's tail feathers coming through.

The Old Order Changeth...?

  Tamsin, Reg, Sedge and Monty in April (John Crispin)

Forming cohorts and tussling with plantain

A short video taken last week of Amy with three of the cranes B3, B4 and B5, starting to form a stable cohort.

Chick B3 (nicknamed Charlie) is the one in the water.  He/She is quite a water baby!

Below is a short video taken on the same day of Chick C5 trying to eat one of the plantain seed heads.... giving up, and going foraging instead.

Fluff balls with fabulous ear tufts

  Wonderful photo taken by Marie-Ann D'Aloia, working for the project at the Crane School rearing facility this spring - Thanks Marie-Ann!

Fluffy crane chick-flicks

Here's a short video of Amy walking 'Swampy' last week.  The chicks need regular excercise and are walked at least twice a day at this stage, but walked individually, as they exhibit a lot of natural aggression to each other and need to be kept apart.  Its amazing that they turn into such a sociable bird!