Thursday, 8 August 2013

8th of August: Caught in a net

You never know what's going to happen next when you are a ranger on Blakeney Point. Our latest task was a crab rescue. A mass of tangled fine netting was found on the tide-line, trapped inside were 216 live crabs. Freeing them was a painstaking exercise... and 'pain' was indeed the word as we experienced frequent nips to the fingers.
The crabs were stored in seawater and then released at high tide.

Over the past few days we have seen several dragonflies and damselflies on the Point. The first was a male Banded Demoiselle on the 25th of July, followed by another on the 26th. On the 28th, this Common Blue Damselfly was photographed on the Point by Nicola Beard.

Matt captured this Migrant Hawker on a Suaeda bush on the 1st of August.

A recent moth trap caught this rather splendid moth, a Garden Tiger.

Whilst conducting survey work amongst the sand dunes, we stumbled upon this brightly-coloured Vapourer moth caterpillar.

The Point is also alive with butterflies. A recent count of Small Coppers (below) totaled 145.

Notable recent bird sightings include juvenile Spoonbill, Long-eared Owl and juvenile Stonechat. We have also discovered two new Swallow nests in the past week (second clutches), including one on the side of the Old Lifeboat House. How many Swallows can you count in the photograph below?
(Swallow with mud for nest-building)

George captured this time-lapse footage from the look-out tower:

In other news, last week Ajay was interviewed by Sir Tony Robinson for an episode of 'Walking Through History', which will be broadcast towards the end of the year.

A recent low tide seal count - conducted on the 28th of July - recorded an impressive 887 Grey and 208 Common.

We continue to spend time watching terns. Although most have now fledged, there are still a couple of Little Tern chicks near the Watch House, which we hope will successfully fledge over the next few days.

- Ajay and Paul
(Photos: Nicola Beard, Matt, Ajay)

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