Tuesday, 27 June 2017

News from Blakeney Point creche

The bird breeding season has been well underway for several weeks now, with an increasing plethora or fluffy chicks running this way and that across the reserve. Among the new arrivals are shelduck-lings, to be seen at dusk trooping in a line across mudflat at low tide, adult shelduck at either end keeping watch. It often seems their on their way for swimming lessons. The oystercatchers have been busy too, usually hatching about 3 grey and white chicks which attract the attention of patrolling gulls. Rangers on duty meeting visitors on the main beach and up towards Far Point are often to be seen waving their arms and jumping up and down to alert the adults to overhead threats.

The insect world has come to the fore too, perhaps partly due to the ridiculously hot weather. There has been a good hatch of dark green fritillaries, often to be seen nectaring on the sea lavender among the dunes, and yesterday (26 June) saw this year's first sighting of a grayling. Other fascinating sightings include an emperor dragonfly, brown argus, small tortoiseshell and common blue butterflies, with moths represented by yellow belle, mother shipton, eyed hawkmoth, marbled coronet and white colon.

The standout sighting of the week though has to be a stone curlew, a rare visitor to the reserve, spotted nestling among shingle and sueda on the main beach running up from Cley car park.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Change is in the Air

As we leave May and enter June, the Point has taken on an entirely different feeling as the spring migration comes to an end and the suspense and excitement that it brings has settled into a wonderful sense of awe for the amazing array of nesting birds here at Blakeney.

The most exciting news of the past few weeks is that the terns have started nesting all around the point, with more and more seen sitting each day. The highlight of my day is watching these dazzling birds diving and displaying as they fly over head, such as this stunning Arctic Tern soaring over the dunes.

                                                               (Photo: Ryan Doggart)

After a couple of weeks of absence from the point, several pairs of striking Mediterranean Gulls have been seen amongst the large flock of Black-Headed Gulls at the Marrams - listen out for their unusual call!

                                                                (Photo: Ryan Doggart)

Although the spring migration seems to have come to an end, boy did it end with a bang! On the 29th of May we where treated to a beautiful Greenish Warbler at the Hood, only the 4th ever spring record for Blakeney Point. This rarity, which normally spend their summers in Russia, was pretty flighty but patience rewarded those who saw it to lovely views as it perched up on Sueda bushes. Small flocks of migrating wading birds can still be seen on the beach, including these Sanderling in their intricate mottled summer colours.

                                                              (Photo: Ryan Doggart)

The recent sunny weather has also meant lots of lovely insects have been spotted including the first Red-Tailed Bumblebee and Yellow Shell moths of the year plus plenty of Painted Lady and Common Blue butterflies.

Hope to see you out on the Point!
Seasonal Assistant Ranger