Posted on Thursday, August 6th, 2015
Great Bustards do thrive in areas where there is little or even no grassland, however grazed grassland does provide a shorter sward than arable areas during the summer months, and this is perhaps when grassland is most likely to be used by the British Great Bustards. We observed last month how the bustards were suddenly back on our reserve areas when we had topped, or mown them. Now the combines are out working the fields we are seeing the birds feeding and also roosting on the stubble fields. The female who nested at one of our reserves has been monitored fairly closely. Both the female and her chick have been flying around the area, but sightings of other birds have been relatively low in number until the harvesting started. A splendid sight of a drove of 15 bustards was seen at our original reserve last week, with another group of 5 females at another reserve.
The first of this years reared birds have just started the final stages of their release and are flying freely. The remaining birds will be out in a week or so, if the good weather holds. It is always exciting when the new birds meet up with older ones! One reserve has a group of 4 or 5 females from last year who are taking a great interest in the new arrivals, and having been waiting outside the pens for their release. The two groups are slightly “standoffish” when on the ground, and tend to remain as two groups standing very close to each other, rather than on group. Once they take to the wing, the flock does merely together as one. This year 29 Great Bustards will be released at the three GBG reserves.