Sunday, 13 September 2015

13th of September: Ortolan Bunting

This week has produced a nice selection of rare birds on Blakeney Point, thanks to easterly winds. The highlight was undoubtedly an Ortolan Bunting. Once one of the Point's "signature species", they are now barely annual.
Ortolan Bunting on Blakeney Point (Richard Porter)

We were also treated to an early Yellow-browed Warbler, which was filmed contentedly feeding in the Plantation.
Yellow-browed Warbler in the Plantation (Paul Nichols)

Other birds seen on the Point this week included Short-eared Owl, Black Tern, Siskin, Wryneck, several Whinchats, Wheatears, Redstarts, Pied and Spotted Flycatchers, Willow Warblers and a Tree Pipit. The first Song Thrush of the autumn appeared in the Plantation on Wednesday (9th). Friday (11th) produced two Firecrests - a rarity on the Point.

There is still a fair bit of saltwater left in Great Sandy Low, which has supported a Spotted Redshank for several days, with a Greenshank also seen there and even a young Fulmar, which sadly died.

The latest low tide seal count was conducted on Thursday (10th), recording 523 Grey and 245 Common on the West Sands. This included approximately 30 juvenile Common Seals, born this summer - a healthy number.
One of this year's young Common Seals

On Saturday (19th), we are hosting a beach clean for the Marine Conservation Society's Great British Beach Clean. Please come along and help us keep Blakeney Point beautiful. We are meeting at 10am - please bring sturdy gloves, we will supply litterpickers and bin bags.

- Ajay (Coastal Ranger)

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