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Reintroduced cranes nesting at Slimbridge 2015

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by gentle lemur, 18 Feb 2015.

  1. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I just happened to check the WWT website this morning and it notes that 2 cranes are nest building near the Martin Smith hide. I reckon that this is will be the reintroduced pair, Monty and Chris, which nested there unsuccessfully in 2013 and 2014 (see photo and discussion at http://www.zoochat.com/513/common-crane-nest-365600/).
    I was at Slimbridge two weeks ago and I noticed that fence posts had been put up around the corner of Tack Piece in front of the Martin Smith hide. I hope that a fox-proof fence has now been completed to improve the chance of success this year.

    Alan
     
  2. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Me too. Foxes were clearly the undoing of last year's attempt. The only problem being the family would be enclosed until the young can fly, unless they removed it at an earlier stage.
     
  3. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I think they might try to be more subtle than that: they may be able to allow the cranes out on to Tack Piece during day, but close the fence and/or turn on the current while they roost on the nest at night.

    Alan
     
  4. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I called in at Slimbridge yesterday. A pair of cranes were on Tack Piece, after checking the website I see that they were Willow and Wendy, a new pair. The fence mentioned above is almost complete and a visitor told me that the channels around the old nest site have been deepened and extended, so it should be impossible for a fox to surprise the nesting birds - if they decide to reuse the site.
    It was also a real pleasure to get good views of around 150 white-fronted geese on Tack Piece, although this is only a fraction of the number that were seen there 40 years ago.

    Alan
     
  5. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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  6. lowland anoa

    lowland anoa Well-Known Member

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    The Civil War could be the reason for the cranes extinction 400 years ago.
     
  7. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Do you actually think about what you post before you do so? :p I cannot imagine where that little tidbit came from......

    We've said it a few times - please stop making random comments with little to no pertinence merely to increase your post count :) otherwise anything you do have to contribute will be diluted.
     
  8. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    The parts of the fence that appear to be complete have a medium sized mesh, but are not very high, so may well have a hot wire or two added. There will probably be a couple of weeks to complete the work before serious nesting starts (it occurs to me that they may be waiting for the Bewicks to leave, there have been quite a few resting up on Tack Piece before migration).
    Up to 6 or 7 cranes have been seen in the area, so I don't think the fact that only 2 have been on Tack Piece in the past few days is particularly significant (particularly as the male Willow is only rising 3). If Monty and Chris want to reuse the old site, I'm sure they will. There are enough quiet spots for other pairs if they want to nest at Slimbridge. I don't know if any work has been done on the site near the South Lake where Bart and Ruby nested last year.

    Update: 10 cranes reported at Slimbridge today :)

    Alan
     
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I guess as 'serious 'breeders, that they would take over the old site if they do return here. I guess the cranes at this stage are still prospecting the area rather than actually beginning to nest yet.
     
  10. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I missed this report earlier in the week, but it seems that the old pair, Monty and Chris, are taking an interest in their nest site.

    WWT - Wetlands for life - Slimbridge news

    There are further reports of nest building later last week. I hope to visit Slimbridge again this week, so I will take a look myself.

    Alan
     
  11. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    On your photo of one of the Cranes of another pair (Willow and...), I mentioned how the Project website says that after last year's breeding Chris lost condition and even disappeared temporarily. She was later caught up and treated for worms and recovered okay. But Monty had meantime paired with another female, leaving Chris alone. Presumably he's gone back to his original partner now though.
     
  12. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Visited Slimbridge again yesterday. The only cranes I saw were Willow and Wendy on Tack Piece, but I didn't get all the way round.
    The fencing around the nest site seems complete, one section has a fairly large mesh, but most of it is just a couple of strands of barbed wire - so I assume it is just to prevent cattle getting too close when Tack Piece is grazed in the summer.

    Alan
     
  13. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    According to their website they have also dug a ditch around Monty& Chris' previous breeding site, to prevent Fox access.
     
  14. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Reintroduced cranes....

    A ditch might help to discourage foxes, but it certainly won't stop them.
     
  15. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Presumably waterfilled. If so, will they swim across?
     
  16. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    As I said above, the theory is that it will be harder for a fox to surprise the adults, I presume that they will be likely to hear it coming.

    Alan
     
  17. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I have visited Slimbridge twice in the last couple of weeks. On both occasions I saw Monty and Chris on Tack Piece, but not doing very much and not very near their old nest site. The latest Slimbridge video news speculates that Chris may not be in breeding condition after her bad moult last year.
    Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsLoglWU1vw&hd=1

    But WWT have announced good news today. Bart and Ruby have just nested again after their failure last year. The cold spell this spring seems to have delayed things, so the other pairs at Slimbridge may still have a chance, as will the birds in Somerset of course.

    Alan
     
  18. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    They are very impressive, aren't they?:)
    Presumably there are currently four potential breeding pairs at Slimbridge?

    Plus several pairs on the Levels that are now mature enough to make a go of successful breeding this year perhaps.

    I wonder if the fact they were reared at Slimbridge had any bearing on the small splinter flock setting up home back there, or just that its suitable anyway.
     
  19. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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  20. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Excellent! It seems that the pair at Slimbridge nested well away from the hides, so they were able to keep things hush-hush. Further details on the GCP website History is made! | The Great Crane Project

    Alan
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2015