Sunday, 5 June 2016

5th of June: Chicks hatching

The beginning of June has been marked with the arrival of the first chicks of the year on Blakeney Point. We have already seen the first Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Meadow Pipit and Reed Bunting chicks and we have now recorded our first Redshank, Oystercatcher and Black-headed Gull chicks too.

Oystercatcher chicks seen in the nest (Wynona Legg)

To raise the cute factor even further we have seen our first Shelduck goslings. They hatch in the burrow and head straight to sea once they are fledged. You often see ducklings more frequently out in nursery crèches in the open water then on the ground, so it was great to witness these 11 ducklings being led off Near Point into the harbour by their parents.
 Shelduck ducklings being led off Near Point yesterday (Daniel Wynn)

In the coming weeks, we can expect to see increasing wader numbers and we have already witnessed this change with flocks of Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit recorded off the Point. A late night walk along the marsh edge this evening revealed an exciting find, a pair of Tufted Duck, a rather erratic and uncommon visitor to us out here on the Point.
Tufted Duck pair seen in Pinchen’s Creek (Daniel Wynn)

This week, we have witnessed some notable arrivals including our first sightings of a Red-Backed Shrike and Common Crossbill. We have also regularly seen Spotted Flycatchers, Black Redstart, Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Common Redpoll and a few Wheatears. There’s still time for those late ‘mega’ arrivals and we all have our eyes open and fingers crossed…
Common Crossbill in Plantation (Richard Porter)

During this week a few sunny days has seen some dramatic blooms in invertebrate life including over 50 Common Blues at the Cley End and 74 Painted Lady’s across the Point. The first Cinnabar moth of the season was recorded too.

Our seal news for this week is a total of 260 Grey seals and 98 Common Seals hauled out on the West Sands recorded on Friday (3rd June). An obliging Common Seal pup is being seen regularly on the tip of the Point from the seal ferry trips.
Common Seal pup (Ajay Tegala)
Daniel Wynn,
Seasonal Assistant Ranger

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