Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Star Species: Golden Plover

If you have been onto the island recently you may have seen some of the bird life around the causeway. Near to Chare Ends and often close to the Pilgrims Way there has, of late, been a large flock of wading birds which look stunning in the sunshine. We can have up to 3,000 golden plovers on the reserve at any time making good use of the large numbers of invertebrates the mud has to offer.

Golden Plover JJD (c)

 Most of these golden plover that you see on the Reserve are changing from their  striking golden summer plumage with a black front into their autumn/ winter get up.

Breeding in uplands during the summer they flock together in coastal areas during the winter to feed and this is where you see large numbers like we have been. It’s essential in order for them to survive the winter that they don’t use valuable resources through unessential movements such as when they are disturbed. 

When walking around the Reserve please keep this in mind. Please, where possible, avoid walking close to large flocks of birds and keep dogs close to heel or even better on a lead to prevent them from causing birds to lift.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Grass raking practical task

At the weekend volunteers and staff tackled some practical management on the Reserve. Despite the rain we set about with rakes and loppers to clear areas of cut grass and remove other areas of small scrub. Thanks to everyone who came and if you are interested in helping out in the future please get in contact. 

Raking up areas of cut rush to be collected

Taking a break while the rain had stopped

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Wet slacks

The wet low lying areas of the dune system are called dune slacks and they are rich and diverse habitats. Some of the slacks are filling with water just now and wetting up much like they do every year. At the moment the water within the dune slacks is most likely coming from ground water and rain after the heavy downpours we've had over the last few days.

Areas starting to 'wet up' on the Reserve

Wet in the winter, the slacks are a rich habitat for plants in the summer and to keep these areas up to scratch we cut and graze them during the winter months to help manage the sward. As a result of this dynamic system and with a little help from some of our habitat work Lindisfarne NNR has an amazing array of orchids throughout the summer with species such as northern marsh orchid.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Budle Bay Bird Watch

We had the second of our Budle Bay Bird Watches on Sunday. Despite a couple of heavy showers the weather stayed fair providing us with excellent visibility. We were able to show visitors the amazing wildlife of the bay including, among a host of others, grey plover, eider, mallard, pintail, little egret and redshank. Thanks to everyone who attended and especially those that helped with the event.

We have one more event in the current program and hope to add a couple more before Christmas. Keep an eye out on the events page.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Conservation Task - want to get involved?

On Sunday 15th November we've got a conservation task helping staff to remove scrub and rake up cut grass from dune slacks. These are ongoing tasks that staff do every year and this year we've opened it up to anyone who wants to give a hand. We still have a couple of spaces left on the event - please get in touch if you would like more details and to book a place.

Grass raking task from last year.

Litter Pick and Plovers

We have had some reasonable tides recently and along the strand line there's been quite a bit of rubbish accumulated. We do a lot of litter picking on the reserve and today we set our sites on the causeway to get rid of it. It's not only unsightly but it can damage and injure wildlife. From the causeway there are great views of light-bellied brent geese, bar-tailed godwit and thousands of golden plover that are using the area near to Chare Ends. 

Friday, 6 November 2015

Still some colour in the dunes

There are still some flowers around the dunes to brighten up your walk. There are a few viper's bugloss in flower on the Reserve- a bit later than usual! The wind made it hard to picture them but here's a photo anyway.
Late blooming vipers blugloss

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Budle Bay Bird Watch

The second of our Budle Bay Bird Watches will take place this Sunday. We'll be stationed at the white railings at Budle Bay with binoculars and telescope. Please look for the Natural England vehicle and come say hello! You can borrow binoculars and join us in watching birds push up the bay as the tide comes in. If you would like more information please contact the Reserve on 01289 381470.

Wigeon JJD (c)