Sunday, 15 February 2015

15th of February: Blakeney in February

February is quite a quiet month wildlife-wise at Blakeney. It is that gap between the breeding seal season and the breeding bird season. The Point looks empty in comparison to a month or so ago. But a few birds are around; a Black Redstart has been seen in the Plantation, a few Blackbirds in the Suaeda, Goldfinches feeding on seeds on the shingle ridge and frequent Marsh Harriers overhead - occasionally a Hen Harrier too. There are also still a small number of Snow Buntings and Shorelarks to be found.

The weather has mostly been mild, with signing Skylarks and some lovely blue skies....

Although there have been bleaker moments, like this afternoon... the Watch House a slightly mysterious atmosphere. It has been the setting for a horror novel and was also used as a sinister, remote location in the 2005 film 'Brothers of the Head' (see 4:51-5:17).

A look at the tip of Far Point reveals that the spit is still growing. A clear new ridge of shingle has formed since the summer...

Back on the Mainland, Blakeney Freshes has provided some great wildlife sightings in the past week. With regular good views of a Kingfisher, Barn Owl and Bearded Tits, and also a Water Rail swimming across a dyke. It won't be too long before we start surveying pairs of Lapwings and looking for signs of breeding Bitterns.

On the Point, patridges are pairing off. There are four pairs of Grey Partridges, one of which has a single Red-legged Partridge tagging along with them - a curious Anglo-French trio! There is also a male Pheasant holding a territory at the Hood. It feels like spring is just around the corner, it will only be a few weeks before we celebrate the return of the first Sandwich Terns, one of our favourite birds here on the Norfolk Coast...
Sandwich Tern - just a few weeks away

- Ajay, Coastal Ranger

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