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Second phase egg collection - Richards Diary part 14

Wednesday 28th April

Today is the start of the second phase of egg collecting and follows the pattern of the first collection. We have 1½ days to collect up to seven more eggs, and need a new permit from Mr Ventland the vet to take them out of Germany. Beate and her team will monitor sites where we have taken eggs to see how many crane pairs re-lay. Cranes normally lay two eggs.

Pansy

Another character in the group has been our chick colour banded ‘red/black’ who has obtained the nickname 'Pansy'. This bird has found each step in the growing up process a challenge and it took a while to get it self feeding. Eventually it plucked up the courage to explore the grassy enclosure outside where we at once discovered it was afraid of water! So much so that when it came across a puddle it would run away cheeping! It didn’t inspire us with confidence being as it’s a wetland species!

A trip into Poland - Richards Diary part 13

Tuesday 27th April

We get up early at 6am for a trip to the Polish side of the Oder. A quick cup of coffee and a check for passports and we’re off. Passing through Angermunde, we head south east to the border, which takes us about half an hour. We cross the bridge near Hohenwutzen into Poland. There is no passport control or barriers but there is a large open air market so we stop for a look.

Clarence and Gemma

Clarence and Gemma cranes

Since the smaller cohorts, a group of up to six birds, have merged into one big group of twenty-two the birds have constantly been surprising us with daily changes in their group dynamics and displays of unusual behaviour.

Exploring the reserve - Richards Diary part 12

Monday 26th April

Beate and Eberhard have promised to take us into the core reserve areas of the biosphere today and we’re looking forward to it. Our first stop is a viewpoint at Grimnitzee where we spot osprey (‘fishadler’) soaring over the lake. This was a big hunting area during the time of Kaiser Willhelm II and remained so under Herman Goering and then Eric Honneker during GDR times. It was also a big glass making area at one stage because of the plentiful supplies of sand and freshwater.

A day to catch up - Richards Diary part 11

Sunday 25th April

A quiet day at the mill to catch up on the diary, label photos, read and relax. Damon and Roland are on their way out to Angermunde by train and are due in later this evening, so plenty of time. I manage to tune the radio to BBC World Service and listen in to UK election build up.

Visiting Oder Valley - Richards Diary part 10

Saturday 24th April

Just had a call from Nigel at ten to nine here – he is watching egg 2 hatch! I ring Beate who is very excited and she passes on the good news to Peter that he’s become a ‘new dad’. It’s still hard to believe we only collected egg 2 on Tuesday, less than 4 days ago and now have a little ginger chick, alive and kicking. Beate will talk to Peter about the estimated laying date which appears to be about a week out – useful information which we will need when planning egg collection in future years.