Chicks a-plenty!

Curlew and Corncrake Projects at Pensthorpe Summer 2023

We had an exciting summer at Pensthorpe in 2023 . It was very busy for the Avicultural team with 43 curlews released, 94 corncrakes released, 5 greater flamingos hatched, 2 red crowned crane chicks, and over 20 chicks of various species in the wader aviary! It’s been a successful year on the corncrake project with lots of exciting plans being made for next year and we are looking forward to seeing who makes it back from their wintering grounds in the Congo. It has been wonderful to watch these corncrakes develop from clumsy tiny black fluffy chicks into strong healthy young birds.

The curlews as always were a pleasure to work with. Finding a freshly hatched chick is such an amazing experience, not only do you get to care for the little wet ball of new life but it is amazing to see how their personalities shine through within hours of hatching whether it is being super noisy like Cassiopeia KP, an adventurer like Carswell YJ, an escape artist like Calliope YA, or like a peaceful Chetney XX. Good luck to all our curlew out there and if you see a flagged curlew please report its colour rings and unique letter combination so we can find out how all our birds are doing. Many will stay around the Wash however so may be seen further away, such as the fantastic sighting of Crumpet LC on Skomer!

Our flamingos have been busy looking after their five chicks who are now just over three months old! They are now starting to be encouraged to feed themselves so you may get some interesting encounters when watching the flamingos for the next month as the chicks will frequently be noisily chasing their parents begging for food. This year’s chicks are quite a confident group and are starting to make friends with two year old BAK. BAK has in interesting relationship with the rest of the flock and we are looking forward to see who may become one of his close friends over the next year.

The wader aviary is currently a flurry of activity with many of the bearded tits spending the morning flying around the aviary as a flock. It is a fantastic experience to be spending time in the aviary whilst they are doing this as you would never get as close to a wild bearded tit flock. It is very peaceful to sit on a bench and watch the waders foraging in front of you with the ‘ping ping’ of the bearded tits flying above you.