Monday, 18 July 2016

Life as a shorebird warden for a week

Recently we have had two trainees from Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR and Derbyshire Dales NNR making the trip up North to help out on the Shorebird Project. They were a great help during the week they were here for and we wish them all the best in the future. Sally has written a few words about her time.

I am a trainee at Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR in the northwest, and I came to spend a week as a Shorebird Warden at Lindisfarne NNR, with fellow trainee Elli from Derbyshire Dales. It was a very exciting time to join the project. Lindisfarne NNR is a beautiful place to spend the day, and when we arrived we could see just one of the little tern eggs had hatched as we looked from a distance through our telescope; by the time we left there were at least nine! It was great to watch the chicks running around the beach and being fed, and waiting for more chicks to hatch. I especially liked walking round to and from the various colonies. It was good for me to see different dunes, with different flora and fauna.

I was pleased to be part of this important work protecting and monitoring the terns and not forgetting the Ringed Plover and Oystercatchers.
Many thanks to the team at Lindisfarne NNR for being so helpful and informative. It was an excellent learning opportunity. Hopefully we will return!

Sally Collier

Trainee Warden, Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR

Monday, 27 June 2016


The dunes have been bursting with colour recently and we managed to snap a couple of shots today of some beautiful orchids. Below are pictures of northern marsh and early marsh orchids. It's important to keep to desire lines because flowers could be anywhere in the dunes (and even sometimes on the paths themselves). It's such an amazing spectacle if you want to photograph them please keep to the paths and don't lie down to take the photo as you may step on other plants without knowing.


Thursday, 23 June 2016

Wildlife of the dunes in June

John Dunn, volunteer at Lindisfarne NNR has taken some great photos of some of the Reserves wildlife in June. If you are walking around the dunes you will most definitely see a carpet of wildflowers including orchids. You may also see one of the roe deer that are on the island.

Lapwings now have a some grown up looking chicks which are ready to fledge or have already fledged. They can be quite vulnerable at this time and it's important to keep dogs on a lead or a heel throughout the dunes.


Meadow pipits and skylarks are definitely enjoying this good weather and it's hard to go a few feet without hearing their distinctive calls and flight.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Selected Peak Bird Counts May 2016

Below are the peak counts for Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve May 2016

Cormorant – 12
Oystercatcher – 323
Shelduck – 47
Eider – 112
Red-breasted merganser – 15
Ringed plover – 201
Golden plover – 17
Grey plover – 45
Knot – 60
Dunlin – 237
Black-tailed godwit – 2
Bar-tailed godwit – 27
Curlew – 98
Turnstone – 76
Sandwich tern – 28
Common tern – 22
Arctic tern – 17


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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Natura 2000 Day Guided Walk on Saturday 21st May

Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve is running a guided walk on Saturday 21st of May for Natura 2000 day taking in some of the habitats and species that make Lindisfarne NNR one of the most important nature conservation sites in the North of England.

Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve is part of the Natura 2000 Network of sites which stretches over 27,000 places across Europe covering 1 million km2. Natura 2000 sites are the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world and offer a haven to Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats. Besides being a heaven for many animal and plant species like the brown bear and the iberian lynx, large raptors and vultures, delicate orchids or butterflies, the Natura 2000 network is the result of cultural and historical interaction between human beings and nature. May 21st is a day set aside every year to celebrate this amazing network of sites and to raise awareness throughout Europe.

Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve is part of this network as it makes up one of the core breeding and/or overwintering sites for 18 international important bird species including light-bellied brent geese and several species of tern. It is one of the many sites which are ensuring the long-term survival of Europe’s most vulnerable species and habitats under the Birds Directive and Habitats Directive.

Join Reserve Warden Mhairi Maclauchlan for a guided walk around the Reserve as we take a journey into the species and habitats that are part of the Natura 2000 designation.  “Many people may not have heard of Natura 2000 before but we are part of an amazing network of sites making up 18% of the EU’s land area and we want tell to the public about it. The walk will take in some of the species that the Reserve has been designated and managed for such as migrating tern species, grey seal, red-breasted mergansers and anything else we can find.”

The two hour walk around the Reserve starts at the Window on Wild Lindisfarne at 10.00. Please wear suitable outdoor clothing including sturdy foot wear. Call the Reserve office on 01289381470 to book your place.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

World Migratory Bird Day

We are celebrating International World Migratory Bird Day on 08th May 10.30-13.00 at the Window on Wild Lindisfarne with a family fun day.   

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was initiated in 2006 and is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. Each year, on the second weekend in May, people around the world take action and organise public events. There is more information available


Come along the Window on Wild Lindisfarne on Sunday 8th of May 10.30-13.00 to learn more about  amazing migrations with games and crafts for children of all ages. This is a drop-in event so no need to book. For more information contact the Reserve office on 01289 381470.


Thursday, 28 April 2016

Signs of spring

 A few signs of spring from JJD (c)
Swallows return on their spring migration to nest.

Mammals such as rabbits become more active throughout the dune system.

Smaller birds such as stone chats are more visible as they migrate back to the coastal areas and stake out territories for breeding.

Wheatears can be seen on migration.

Fulmar are back residing on the cliffs

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Selected Peak Bird Counts – April 2016

A peak count of selected species:
Golden plover – 116
Sandwich Tern (c) JJD
Grey plover - 44
Knot - 198
Bar-tailed godwit - 150
Curlew - 342
Redshank - 397
Turnstone – 29
Lapwing – 11
Little egret – 5
Teal - 138
Eider - 206
Oystercatcher – 317
Pink-footed geese - 44
Light-bellied brent geese - 35
Shelduck – 346
Sanderling - 320
Sandwich tern – 40
Short- eared owl – 2
Wheatear - 1