Common Crane on the rise in Lincolnshire


Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust (LWT) has announced that no fewer than four pairs of Common Crane are nesting in the county this summer.

Three pairs have bred at LWT's Willow Tree Fen reserve near Spalding, with a fourth couple feeding young at another site.

Willow Tree Fen is open to the public, where a viewing area gives good views over the reserve and offers an excellent chance of seeing Common Cranes. At least two families can be seen presently, with occasional visits from extra adult pairs.

Four pairs of Common Crane have nested in Lincolnshire this spring (Josh Jones).

After a 400-year absence, Common Crane recolonised Lincolnshire in 2020 when a pair successfully raised a single chick to fledging at Willow Tree Fen.

Bad weather appeared to be to blame for nesting failure there in 2021, but the same pair managed to raise two youngsters in 2022. At the same time, Willow Tree Fen had been receiving increasing visits from additional crane pairs, which the original birds were initially very territorial about and would frequently chase off the site.

Significantly, the birds remained in the area throughout winter 2022-23 – something they hadn't done previously – with up to 15 birds noted on occasion.

This spring has seen a sudden upsurge in the number of nesting birds, with two new pairs taking up residence at Willow Tree Fen alongside the original couple.

Josh Sollitt of LWT said: "The return of breeding Common Cranes to Lincolnshire at Willow Tree Fen has been a remarkable story. From a single pair in 2020 to three this year is a phenomenal achievement and everyone involved is thrilled to see them doing so well."

Further information about visiting Willow Tree Fen can be found here.