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.

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