It has been a very busy few weeks of filming and other university work... But I finally have the time to write a proper update on my filming progress!
Currently my filming is taking place at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire where two pairs of cranes are potentially going to be nesting. These two pairs are Christine and Monty, and Ruby and Bart. I have my friend and co-wildlife student Will Goldenberg (www.willgoldenberg.com) helping - coming with me on a lot of my filming days and working as cameraman. He's a brilliant cinematographer so I am really excited to be working with him!
Slimbridge has proven a great place to work. Not only is it a beautiful place where you can sit in a hide and get really great views of the wildlife, but there are also some fantastic people around. Amongst the many avid birders a number have taken interest in my work, and taken me into their care. I know I wouldn't be getting anywhere without them!
I have been particularly lucky that every day I have been out to film the cranes have shown up, and on many of these days have given me some great things to film! During my first two days I got to meet both pairs of cranes, and both gave me a taste of their ability to "dance". This something cranes are known for - their elegant courtship displays are one of the most incredible things to watch! Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to capture this since... but I'm still hoping for more action!
During the past couple of weeks I've seen both pairs working on a nest site right in front of the Martin-Smith Hide - only one pair will be able to use the site so it is an exciting prospect. However it wasn't until this week that things really began to kick off. I don't want to give too much away - but we had a lot of visiting cranes which kicked off some incredible territorial behaviour. Feathers flying, territorial dances, cranes jumping high into the air! In the next couple of days since only Christine and Monty have been seen at the nest site... so it looks as though they may have won out! Hopefully this will mean they settle down on their nest soon, do some dancing and lay an egg!
Filming so far has had its ups and downs - following wildlife is certainly not an easy task! We spend many hours with nothing happening at all, and then suddenly it all kicks off! Sometimes capturing this action isn't so easy, but we've made a great job of it so far and I am confident that I am going to come out at the end of this process with a fantastic story. I hope you are all looking forward to it as much as I am!