Tuesday, 4 February 2014

4th of February: Wildlife update

Blakeney Point is undoubtedly one of the country's best wildlife sites. Many of you regularly checked our blog throughout November for Grey Seal pup updates. The breeding season has now ended and we are delighted to announce our final figure: an impressive 1,566 pups. This was just a few less than the Farne Islands, Northumberland (1,575) and not too far behind Donna Nook, Lincolnshire (1,670).

You can read more about the Blakeney Point 2013/14 seal pupping season on the East of England National Trust blog.

To find out more about Blakeney Point's Grey Seals and even hear them, follow this link to Sunday's episode of Living World on BBC Radio 4.

A happy seal pup (Graham Lubbock, 07.12.13)

 Pup no. 1566 has now been weaned (03.02.14) 

Back in November, we saw a female Grey Seal with a telemetry tag on it. This week we found out she was tagged at Texel in the Netherlands last March, spent a lot of time off the southeast coast and then came to Blakeney in November to have her pup.

The seal and her pup on the Point (George Baldock)

Now that the breeding seal season is over and the pups have moved on, we have taken down our fencing and there is wider access to Blakeney Point. The only area that cannot be accessed is the very tip of Far Point where seals haul out throughout the year.

There have also been some nice bird sightings on the Point recently. Yesterday 3 Shore Larks were seen, as well as a male Hen Harrier and a Jack Snipe. Out to sea and in the harbour, people have been seeing Red-throated, Black-throated and Great Northern Divers on a regular basis. There are also good numbers of Pintail in the harbour at the moment.

Following the flooding of Blakeney Freshes, we regularly take salinity readings (which are decreasing each week - and happily the Freshes weren't flooded over the weekend during the 9.6 metre tides) and also monitor wildlife activity. We were absolutely delighted to capture the following footage on one of our trail cameras...

This female Kingfisher has clearly caught a fish on the Freshes, which is good news.

Good progress is being made on the Point in terms of infrastructure. Lifeboat House repairs are well underway and the boardwalk has nearly all been put back, much of it having washed up on the beach. There are now just a few more metres to put back. We are grateful to all who helped us...
 Boardwalk repairs (Alex Green)

With the recent sunny weather, it feels like spring isn't too far away. We eagerly await the breeding bird season to see how they respond to the recent habitat changes across Blakeney National Nature Reserve - we will, of course, share this information on the blog.

- Graham, Ajay and George (Blakeney's Coastal Rangers)

No comments:

Post a Comment