Sunday, 3 May 2015

3rd of May: First chicks

May has begun and with it we have the first chicks of the year on Blakeney Point. Skylarks, although they look punkish now, should grow into natural opera singers.
Skylark chicks in the main dunes (Sarah)

As well as Skylarks, Meadow Pipits also make their fragile nests in the dunes, so please stick to the boardwalk and obvious paths to avoid accidental crushing of eggs.

The Mallards that nested early on in Suaeda on Far Point have vacated their nest and are presumed to have fledged.

The latest Sandwich Tern roost count gave an estimate of 4,500+ individuals (on Tuesday 28 April). There are probably now between 5,000 and 5,500 roosting, with the first nests about to appear. Little Terns have been displaying over the beach and we hope they will settle soon.
Little Terns on Far Point (Graham)

Common Gulls are one of the species that will predate the eggs of many of our breeding birds. We set up a dummy nest, using chickens' eggs painted to look like Oystercatcher eggs, to see what would take them...
Common Gull about to take one of the eggs

Our five Shorelarks are still present, mostly hanging around Beach Way but sampling the delights of Great (Sandy) Low at times for a change of scene!

Today we have had two Chiffchaffs and a Swift (first of the year was seen on Thursday 30 April), other birds of interest have included Hobby and a Spoonbill (Tuesday 28 April).
Spoonbill in Pinchen's Creek (Sarah)

Two species of owl have been photographed, with the aid of telescopes, on the NNR this week: a resident Barn Owl on the Freshes, and a Short-eared Owl hunting on the Point.
Short-eared Owl on Pelvetia Marsh (Ajay)

Barn Owl on Blakeney Freshes (George)

The latest low tide seal count was conducted on Friday, recording 331 Grey and 9 Common. This is a slightly higher count than this time last year.

If you like bluebells, then the National Trust's Bullfer Grove, near Gunthorpe, is a very good place to visit at the moment...
Bluebells at Bullfer Grove (George)

Sunset behind the Lifeboat House (Ajay)

- Paul Nichols, Seasonal Assistant Ranger

No comments:

Post a Comment