Sunday, 26 April 2015

26th of April: Returning Terns

This week on Blakeney Point, we welcomed the return of the Common, Arctic and Little Tern. Common Terns first appeared on Monday (20th), with three perched on the No. 14 buoy in the harbour. Three days later there was a small group on the very tip of the Point...
Common Terns on the tip of Far Point

Common Tern (Ian Ward)

We were delighted to watch a westward passage of Little Terns on Friday (24th), whilst on a Blakeney Point adventure with students from Langham Primary. The children spent a morning learning about terns, hares and Shelduck, including looking at the holes where they nest...
Looking for Shelduck prints (Alex Green)

We are hoping the Little Tern decoys will attract birds to nest in areas less vulnerable to flooding than they chose last year.

A pleasure of this time of year is finding nests as they start to appear. The Black-headed Gulls started laying this week, and passerines are nesting in the main dunes. I stumbled upon a delicate Skylark nest, highlighting how important it is to watch your every step. We encourage visitors to stick to the boardwalk.

Wading birds are laying their camouflaged eggs on the shingle. We have fenced off the main areas. Please observe signs and watch your step, wild birds nest where they want, regardless of where we put the fences!
Ringed Plover eggs, camouflaged amongst shingle (Sarah)

Avocets kindly respecting our fenceline (Sarah)

Please note that Avocets and Little Terns are Schedule 1 protected species. This means that it is a criminal offence to photograph them at their nest without a licence.

Shorelarks are still an almost daily sighting on Beach Way, although numbers have dropped to five. Presumably they are starting to migrate to their breeding grounds in Scandinavia and northern Russia.

Yesterday (25th) brought a couple of exciting rare birds to the Point. A White-tailed Eagle over the sea and a Kentish Plover heading west. A pair of Kentish Plover actually bred on the Point in 1983 (their first clutch was predated and the second abandoned). Kentish Plover were first described as a species when they were 'discovered' in Kent, much like the Sandwich Tern, first observed at Sandwich Bay in Kent.

Friary Hills has not been a bad spot this week either, with Redstart and Ring Ouzel. On Wednesday (22nd) two Spoonbills put in an appearance on Blakeney Freshes:
Spoonbills on the Freshes (George)

In other news, last night the Norfolk Wildlife Trust's hut was stolen from Cley Beach car park. Can anyone shed any light on the matter?

- Ajay

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