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Latest updates and news from the project

Evening count at a crane roost - Richards Diary part 9

Friday 23rd April

We have a challenging 4 am rise to prepare for Nigel and Roland’s car journey to Calais. Most of the journey is on good autobahn roads apart from the first bit from the mill up to Altkunkendorf which is along sandy forest tracks and cobbles. Nigel and Roland went to bed late, having checked over the travelling kit, especially the four batteries that will be needed on the journey to power the portable incubators. All of us are a little bug eyed, but there’s a sense of urgency to get everything ready and to be off as soon as possible.

The second collection day - Richards Diary part 8

Thursday 22nd April

On the second collection day we return to the northern part of the biosphere. We pass through a very intensive dairy area to get there, and Lutz points out huge maize fields, all waiting to be ploughed and planted. The maize is very attractive to cranes, especially in the autumn, but there’s very little other food once the maize has run out.

Collection day one - Richards Diary part 7

Wednesday 21st April

Beate and Eberhard arrive early. We pack carefully, making sure to remember all the important pieces of kit – portable incubator, crocodile clips to connect the incubator to the truck cigarette socket, a backup battery just in case we have problems with the truck’s socket, rubber gloves and sanitation gel for handling the eggs. We all have rubber wellies or longer waders for deeper water nest sites.

Crane Academy

Have been working the last couple of weeks with a great bunch of resilient crane volunteers to finish off the release enclosure / crane academy on the Levels and Moors.   Electric fencing is now all up, two 40 x 40 m top nets are sewn together, and one of the two netted pens is fully fitted out.

A visit to Angermunde - Richards Diary part 6

Tuesday 20th April

We are all up at a respectable 8am, despite the late night. Nigel goes quickly down to the incubator room where he spends most of the day checking the equipment to make sure that everything’s ready to receive the first eggs.

Tree Sparrows and final preparations- Richards Diary part 5

Monday 19th April continued...

Roland prepares the incubator room - Richards Diary part 4

Monday 19th April continued...Back at the mill Roland starts to prepare the incubator room (IR) downstairs. It’s critical the IR is as clean as possible to ensure the crane eggs are kept free from contamination. We start by laying down a large polythene sheet on the floor and duck taping it to the wall. This keeps dust from the floor away from the incubators. We set up a couple of tables – one for the three backup yellow incubators and one to be the preparation table for when the eggs arrive back from the field.