Monday, 24 March 2014

24th of March: Spring arrivals on Blakeney Point

Spring migrants have started to arrive on Blakeney Point. The first Chiffchaff appeared in the Plantation on the 9th of March, and the first Wheatears were seen on the 21st.

The breeding bird season is beginning. Over the past couple of weeks several hundred Black-headed Gulls have moved onto their usual breeding place on Far Point.
Black-headed Gulls on Far Point this weekend

Despite the Suadea bushes being partly buried by shingle, they are still settling in the usual location. Amongst them are over a dozen Mediterranean Gulls. They stand out from the Black-headed Gulls with their blacker heads, redder bills, white wing tips and distinctive call.
Mediterranean Gull on Blakeney Point
(seen here amongst Sandwich Terns in May 2011)
Yesterday (Sunday 23rd) saw the arrival of this year’s first Sandwich Terns, spotted by Skippy from Aylmerton Field Studies Centre whilst out on a seal trip. We are excited about watching numbers build up over the next few weeks. I was fortunate to see Sandwich Terns on their wintering grounds in West Africa last month, it was fascinating to see them in a different setting, amongst Caspian Terns, a rarity in the UK.
Caspian Tern in The Gambia

Sandwich Tern at Blakeney

Repair work on the Lifeboat House is nearly finished. The public toilets will be opening on the 31st of March (as per the National Trust handbook), however the visitor centre will not be opening until the 7th of April as renovation work to the floor is taking a little longer than predicted.
Young 'black' Grey Seal on the Point

We will keep the blog updated with migrant and breeding bird news throughout the spring. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date.

- Ajay (Coastal Ranger)

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