Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sounds of Summer: Hungry Chicks

'Our babies (see this previous post) are doing well in the nest... here is an update, writes Francesca Bostock from the Manche. Also, I went on a bike ride today, from Sourdeval to Le Neufbourg, and I came across this little chap in the middle of the Chemin de Fer.  He just sat there looking at me, then hopped across the Chemin into the ditch.  I think he must have been recently out of his nest and not quite got to grips with using his wings yet.  He didn't seem injured, so I just left him to it.'

With all the predatory bastards lurking around, the little one has little chance of survival, unlike the Giant Bustard (in photo on the right, taken in the Beijing Zoo). There is a lot of excitement in Britain as Bustards in Salisbury Plain this year hatched their first chicks in nearly 150 years. The Great Bustard reintroduction programme began to release these magnificent birds back into the wild in 2004 with birds that had been reared in Russia. The Great Bustard is the heaviest flying bird in the world with males reaching 20kg and a wingspan of over 6 feet. They were hunted to extinction in England in the early 19th century.

Read more on the reintroduction project here.

And this is a famous Vaughn Williams piece about another summer bird much loved in France and in England, the skylark or alouette.

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