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Somerset

End of an Aussie era.

Harry on West Sedgemoor - February 2014

 

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Whole lotta buglin' going on

 

 Photo - John Crispin.

Amazing sights and sounds here in Somerset... with lots of ritual strutting and bugling going on...

The cranes have been mostly on Wetmoor in recent days... best viewed  from the public footpath that runs along the South side of the River Yeo to the East of Langport.

" The Flying V "

The Final Chapter

White Yellow Black taking off

 White Yellow Black - taking off

On Tuesday we released the final batch of 17 cranes into the Levels & Moors.

 Leading the group out of the pens

The Final Chapter

White Yellow Black taking off

 White Yellow Black - taking off

On Tuesday we released the final batch of 17 cranes into the Levels & Moors.

 Leading the group out of the pens

The diggers are coming....

 

Spent a while this morning in the tractor, preparing the ground in readiness for contractors to start work creating a potential crane breeding zone at the heart of the West Sedgemoor RSPB reserve.

 The topper

Heave Ho!

Had a fabulous day yesterday with a lovely bunch of volunteers and RSPB staff getting the 'top-nets' onto the crane aviary on the Somerset Levels and Moors. 

Firstly a tangled mess of net - that had been stored out on site, within a tarpaulin, but under 1m of water at the height of the winter flood.  It had also, rather unpleasantly had been used by Mink as a latrine and a store of half-eaten duck eggs and bits of dead coot and mallard. 

Somerset's very own soap opera

The cranes have been VERY busy over the last couple of weeks.

 Tamsin on Timmy - Early March 2014

We have seen some of last year's pairings continuing to flourish, some couples spiltting, some rather 'modern' trios of birds forming, a number of new romances blossoming as well as a good number of fleeting dalliancies. 

Sven's sad end

We are sorry to report that one of this year's released birds, Sven, was reported by the daily monitoring team this Saturday on his own, with his wing hanging limply by his side.  He was caught and taken to be examined by the RSPCA at West Hatch.  Sadly, his injury was so severe that the only humane option was euthanasia, and he was put down.  We are not sure exactly what caused the injury, but it is quite possible that it was a bite from a fox in the night, or other predator.  He was a very healthy weight and apart from the broken wing, seemed in good shape.