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Somerset

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.

Come Hell or High Water

... Looks like both have come to Somerset in the last few weeks.  There have been times when it has felt like the end of the world may be imminent.   Extreme winds, torrential rains, extensive flooding - mass evacuations of people and livestock... quite apocalyptic scenes and a definite reminder of the power of nature and water. 

Wild Naked Legs and wandering cranes

 60 cranes in flight over Somerset - October 2013

Duck Decoy becomes Crane Breeding Zone

The Great Crane Project has been working with a farming family near Cossington, on Somerset Levels and Moors to convert an 18th century duck decoy and Scheduled Ancient Monument, into a potential crane breeding zone.  

   Starting to fill up through the sluice.

Crane monitoring

In the last couple of weeks the team have been closely monitoring the chicks as they integrate with the older birds. There have been some wonderful interactions taking place and now most of the chicks seem to have been accepted as part of the group. It is wonderful to see them looking so at home on the levels and moors. Here are a few images from the monitoring sessions.

Through the doorway to eternity

 Yellow Red Yellow enjoying its first taste of freedom.

In the week that saw the Voyager spacecraft leave the Solar system and become the first ever man-made object to enter inter-stellar space  -  a similar epic moment has occured here on the Levels and Moors.

Creating New Wetlands

 Mr Mitchell with work just starting on the new wetland zone.

Work has started this week on the creation of a brandnew 12.5ha block of wetland on private land at the heart of the Levels and Moors.

All settled in...

 Blue Red Yellow "VIRIDOR" checking out her new surroundings.

Moving on...

 The transport crates all ready....

The cranes have now all been ringed,  we have the all-clear from the blood tests, the Somerset pen is all up and ready, and the birds are good to be transported down to Somerset first thing tomorrow morning.  

Exciting times!   

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