Thursday, April 8, 2010

Beginning of April 2010

Spring is the air here at the Park..but one look at the temperature guage and one would argue with me. It is still only around 0 degrees during the day and still drops considerably lower at night. despite this the snow is melting and the animals are peeking out.

The first migrants have begun to arrive at the Park. Skylarks, corvids (Carrion crows, jungle crows, and jackdaws), and rustic buntings are now a regular at the Park. A small flock of herons came to the Park, but seemed at little confused with the ice and snow still covering all of the open water.
Flocks of Pine buntings have been seen along the open spots in the road - - a bird that was not seen at the Park at all last year.

In preparation for all of these migrants, the Park has set out feeding stations in the wetlands and along the roads. We have unloaded five tractor loads of grains and several hundred kilos of frozen fish.

These feeding sites were easily encountered by the migrants who began immediately to refuel on all of this food. The first cranes arrived on the 30 of March and two date only two pairs of White-naped cranes have been seen at the Park. One pair has made complete use of the free food.
Storks arrived on the 2 of April and days later found our fish along the shores of the lake.

We have also been preparing our captive birds for the spring. Reed hiding places were placed in the crane pen to encourage nesting...and when the weather warmed up the birds were let out to enjoy the sunshine and outdoors once again!

We also made a special trip to several schools in the district to lecture on environmental issues of the region.

In the last several days there has been hope that winter will leave us for the year. The ice finally broke on lake Kapustiha..

One highlight of the week was the chance arrival of a steppe eagle... the juvenile bird made its way to our feeding stations and was immediately mobbed by the magpies and crows.

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