Thursday, 8 November 2012

8th of November: The Long Wild Shore

Between the 17th of November and the 2nd of December Blickling Hall will be hosting an exhibition and book launch of the extremely talented, former Point warden, James McCallum. The Long Wild Shore - Bird and Seal Seasons on Blakeney Point, his new book, covers most of the wildlife found on the Point, some in great detail, including the terns and seals. The exhibition runs from the 17th of November until the 2nd of December and will be open from Wednesday through to Sunday between 11am and 4pm. There will be additional openings during the Blickling Christmas Weekends - 8th-9th and 15-16th of December, which are a treat in their own right. The launch of this long awaited book is expertly timed to coincide with our centenary. The Point was brought for the trust in 1912. One hundred years on and James has become a part of that long and illustrious history. More information about James and his work can be found on his website A recent article in British Birds entitled The Birds of Blakeney Point: 100 Years of National Trust Ownership features some of James' paintings and, along with his new book, celebrates our centenary and the amazing wildlife to be found on the reserve. James was Assistant Warden on Blakeney Point and Blakeney Freshes in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2006 and added greatly to our understanding of the breeding birds of the Point and the Freshes as well as helping in the species protection which makes Blakeney NNR such a great place for birds. James is always friendly and accommodating and would love to see you at the exhibition.

Bluethroat in May 2012 (James McCallum)

Terns courting and preening with a Grey plover to their left (James McCallum)

After our last blog post from the Point The Bamboozled Ouzel  about the huge 'fall' of Scandinavian migrants which hit our coast on the 22nd of October we received some pictures from Point regular Richard Porter that really show how big the spectacle was. It is now believed that it was the biggest 'fall' of migrants for twenty years and has been dubbed the 'Thrush Rush'.

This impressive picture shows the full scale of the thrush rush on the 22nd of October this year. If you look really carefully (squint your eyes) you can just make out the Lifeboat House on the right
(Richard Porter)

On to mammalian news: the first Grey Seal pup of the season was born on the 26th/27th of October and numbers increased rapidly to 91 on the 7th of November. The colony, or Rookery, as they are correctly called, has been doing extremely well in recent years and the number of pups born has increased significantly year on year. Access to Far Point is now restricted during the winter months to avoid disturbance to the seals and it should be remembered that seals can be dangerous to humans and dogs. The best way to see the pups is from one of the seal ferries which leave from Morston around high tide.

One of the first Grey Seal pups of the winter (Richard Porter)

- Eddie

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