We have some wonderful news to report!
Our Grey Partridges which hatched in schools last summer were released into the wild from 2 locations back in early Autumn last year (see this previous blog). We kept a feeding station and water at the release sites, in case they needed additional food or water over the winter. They hung around for a few days and then flew away.
Then look what happened at our London and South East branch farm just a few days ago! Quite literally from out of the blue, they all turned up! What a wonderful surprise! Luckily we had our phone with us and managed to capture their return on video. There was a good number, they looked healthy and happy – and as you can hear were very noisy! They stopped for a good feed and then were gone.
What’s particularly interesting about this video is that you can clearly see the male birds perform a lookout relay. The lookouts position themselves at the front, centre and back of the group, standing up tall, not moving. As the females move forward, heads down, the male at the back races to the front (head up), while the others stand still with heads up. This continues as the covey moves through the grass.
We are absolutely thrilled to see that so many have almost made it through the winter. At the moment they are living as a group, known as a ‘covey’. They will soon break away as breeding pairs, start to nest and hopefully go on to rear chicks of their own.
This once common native bird is now on the Birds of Conservation Concern ‘red list’. Red is the highest conservation priority, with species needing urgent action. Our ‘hatch-for release’ partridge kits offer key stage 2+ the opportunity to get involved with a real, live wildlife conservation project.
We are now taking bookings for 2020