Sunday, 1 May 2016

1st of May: Angry sea takes a fence

At the start of the week, strong northerly winds caused huge waves, which engulfed the seaward side of our Little Tern enclosure on the shingle ridge. A clear reminder of how powerful the sea is. Thanks to ranger Graham for the pun! We put the fencing back up just in time for the arrival of the first Little Terns. It's wonderful to have these special birds back. Today we also finally saw the first Common Terns of the year over the Point, a week later than normal.
Recent windy weather on the Point (Ajay Tegala)

This week, there has been news coverage of the use of decoys to attract Little Terns to nest on the south coast. This is something we trialed on Blakeney Point last year. After losing most of the 2013 nests to spring tides combined with northerly winds in June, we put decoys on an area of beach less vulnerable to flooding. This attracted ten nesting pairs, which all went on to fledge young. We are hoping for success with decoys again this year, having put our decoys out today...

After a very quiet couple of weeks for bird migration, this Thursday (28th of April) produced a nice selection: Hen Harrier, Little Ringed Plover, Jack Snipe, 6 Willow Warblers, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Common Whitethroat and a Redpoll.

Shelduck over the Point (Joe Cockram, 2012)

On Saturday (30th of April), we conducted the annual Shelduck coordinated count. A total of 61 breeding pairs were recorded on the Point, two more than last year. A further 20 pairs were observed on and around Blakeney Freshes. Next week we will be busy conducting breeding bird surveys for our songbirds, including Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Linnets, as well as our wading birds, including Oystercatchers, Ringed Plovers and Avocets.

 Linnet on bramble (Dan Wynn)

-Ajay, Coastal Ranger

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