Sunday, 7 June 2015

7th June: Leaving the shell

The week kicked off with high winds on Monday and Tuesday with gusts reaching 45mph, rocking the Lifeboat House like a boat on the sea. The resulting sand storms on the beach made life difficult for us rangers and even more so for the terns, Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers, which were incubating eggs. Sadly a few nests were lost because of the weather and blown sand.

On a more positive note, the tip of Far Point is looking good for terns at the moment with many (100+) Sandwich Tern chicks scattered among the suaeda, and up to 90 pairs of Common Terns sat on eggs.
Sandwich Tern chicks (Josh Barber)

Little Terns are a bit later to arrive this year, but we are expecting a lot to start nesting throughout the coming week.
Little Terns on migration (Richard Porter)

Elsewhere on the Point the first Redshank, Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher chicks have been seen.
Redshank on nest (Tim Lubbock)

Avocet chicks hatched on the Point have been seen crossing the Beach Road on to Cley Marshes. The traffic had to be stopped to let them cross.
 Caution! Avocets crossing (Richard Porter)

We have plenty of fledged young Meadow Pipit and Linnet chicks still being fed by their parents and looking a bit stumpy-tailed.
Meadow Pipit fledgeling being fed (Richard Porter)

These beautiful pictures of a Shelduck doing a broken-wing display show that we also have Shelducklings too.
Shelduck doing broken wing display (Richard Porter)

Other birds
Spoonbills have been spotted most days this week, often in Pinchen's Creek.  Migration has been slow with 2 Wheatears on 3rd June, 4 Buzzards on 4th, then with south-east winds overnight a smattering of migrants greeted us on the 5th. These included a Hobby, 3 Reed Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Song Thrush and 1 Chaffinch.

In the sunnier parts of the week we've enjoyed seeing more butterflies, our first Hummingbird Hawkmoth of the season and even members of the Odonata family - including 1 Red-eyed Damselfly (first record for the Point), 10 Azure Damselflies, 2 Hairy Dragonflies and a Common Darter.

The product of a less visible invertebrate was also found washed up on the beach - squid eggs!...
Squid eggs on the beach (Josh Barber)

A low tide seal count was carried out on 1st June, revealing 510 Grey and 26 Common seals hauled out on the intertidal sand bar known as West Sands.

 - by the Blakeney Point Ranger Team, working sunrise to sunset!
Sunrise (Josh Barber)

Sunset (Sarah Johnson)

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