nesting corncrake at Pensthorpe

Early May 2020 – Aviculture

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6 May 2020

Nesting season is underway!

We have been trying to get a few pictures and video clips of some of the residents at Pensthorpe this last week as nesting season gets underway.  The birds are still in their fine breeding plumage. If you want to keep up to date with our pictures and videos please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, where we are adding regular content to keep you all entertained and informed during lockdown.

It has been great to see the wild cranes visiting on several occasions now, and a pair of our resident Eurasians are currently incubating eggs. 

The number of flamingo eggs is now up to fourteen, and we know the parents of last year’s chick have nested together again. The nest site looks very crowded in the footage we have been putting out on social media, which is recorded via a secret flamingo cam placed by one of our aviculturists, Kat.  Of course, flamingo thrive on this sort of dense colony nesting. We know that not all birds get on, and some squabbling is always taking place, and some birds will choose to ignore others!

The corncrakes have also made a start at nesting, with two females of the breeding group already incubating. There have been several reports of wild birds returning to the western isles of Scotland and Ireland, and we are hoping to get some good returns to the Wensum Valley this year. As I sit in the office writing this, I can hear our retired birds crexing away in the Wader Aviary, as well as the soft purring of the turtle doves.

We are asking people to listen out and see if you can hear for the distinctive corncrake crex in the wild and report any activity to us. It helps us monitor the success of the returning birds. So, get familiar with the sound and, if you are lucky enough to be able to take your daily exercise walks out in the Norfolk countryside, let us know if you hear anything by contacting us: crex@pensthorpe.com