Tuesday, 15 October 2013

14th of October: Strong winds and a big bang

The last week brought some memorable moments to Blakeney Point. Wednesday night and all through Thursday, there were strong northerly winds and stormy conditions. There were waves reaching 4 metres and the tide was pushed high up the beach. A lot of seawater gathered east of the Lifeboat House, deep enough for a Cormorant to dive in.
Views from the look-out tower
There was noticeable erosion to the sand dunes on Far Point and the sea over-topped the shingle ridge at the Cley end. This demonstrated what a dynamic coastline this is, changing dramatically in a matter of minutes.

The winds then turned easterly, bringing an arrival of of birds from Scandinavia and Russia. Dozens of Robins, Song Thrushes, Redwings, Blackbirds and Goldcrests dropped into the bushes. A number of finches arrived too; Chaffinches, a couple of Green Finches and several Redpolls. On Saturday morning there was a splendid Yellow-browed Warbler in the Plantation. Other notable birds included a Great Grey Shrike, seen hovering, and a Long-eared Owl in the dunes. Perhaps the rarest bird was a Yellowhammer, although common on the mainland, these are a real rarity on the Point with only a handful of records.

Another memorable discovery was that of four US military flares on the beach, which had washed up in the stormy weather. This led the the Point being closed to the public on Sunday morning while the Police and bomb disposal team dealt with the potentially dangerous flares. All four were found to be live and were blown up in a controlled explosion.
The 'big bang' (below photograph by John Furse)
In other news, we have just heard that one of this year's juvenile Sandwich Terns has been seen on the north coast of France.
'KAH' was ringed as a nestling on the Point in June and reported on the beach at Luc sur Mer along with twenty other Sandwich Terns on the 11th of September. Thanks to Martial Tancoigne for the sighting and photograph - it's great to see them growing up!

- Ajay

1 comment:

  1. Great photos of this dramatic event - and very interesting to hear about the sandwich tern's movements.