Posted on Monday, September 5th, 2011
Quarantine and pre-release
The 30 days of quarantine was completed on Saturday 3rd September. The birds have had their final official health inspection, and the testing for the relevant diseases such as Avian Influenza has all been negative. We are not able to apply for the permission to release them on day 30 as it falls on a weekend. The application to release the birds from the quarantine restrictions will be sought on Monday 5th September. One or two birds have minor injuries or conditions which may delay or in one case prevent their release into the wild. These birds will be accessed during the soft release phase. They are not infectious or disease issues, but relate to feather condition and one bird has a swollen foot. All the birds will now have a short spell in pens at the release sites before being set free.
There are a number of changes in the way the birds will be released this year. The main change being the use of a second release site. The 30+ birds will be split 50/50 with the existing release site. This new site is in south Wiltshire and on private land. For obvious reasons its location is being kept confidential, but visitors will still be welcomed at the original site. I will report on the news from both sites in this new web site feature.
Most birds will tend to stick close to the release site for several weeks or months, but some may wander sooner. Reports of all sightings are very valuable and much appreciated.
Two older males are spending most of their time in and around the original release site and we hope they will stick around during the release phase. At the new site a female has been regularly seen over the last month. She is our oldest bird (from the first release in 2004), but has never (to our knowledge) nested. Again we hope she will meet up with the new arrivals.