High tide near the steps to the Lifeboat House (Sarah Johnson)
Bird highlights for the week included two Barred Warblers and a Spotted Redshank on Monday 31st August, with the latter still present on Friday 4th September. The first day of September saw the arrival of two juvenile Red-backed Shrikes - one at the Watch House and one at the Hood. Once a common breeding species in Norfolk, these birds are now sadly only seen on migration. On Wednesday 2nd September, a Honey Buzzard was seen being mobbed by a Common Buzzard, and another small hatch of flying ants produced three Hobbies - two adults and one juvenile - anting above the Plantation. Watching them closely you could actually see the Hobbies snipping the wings off the ants before eating the body. Saturday 5th September brought strong northerly winds, which created an ideal opportunity for some sea-watching, the highlights of which were four species of shearwater: Cory's, Manx, Balearic and Sooty; and three species of skua: Arctic, Great and Long-tailed.
Long-tailed Skua (Richard Porter)
Saturday was also the date of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve Bioblitz, part of the Neptune Campaign. This saw many experts from Norfolk and beyond descending on Salthouse, Blakeney Freshes, Friary Hills, Stiffkey, Morston and Blakeney Point to record as many species as they could find in one day. Species recorded ranged from the tiniest insects to mature trees, taking in birds, mammals, lichens, fungi and much else besides. The total number of species recorded so far is a whopping 655 individual species from 1537 individual records! There are still many more records to be verified by the experts before we can add them, so we expect this number to go up in the coming days A big thank you to all the experts that came and gave their time and knowledge for free.
And to finish with, here is the week's most unexpected tide-line treasure: