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

Wednesday, 13 April 2016


To help us protect Lindisfarne NNR we have a series of byelaws (all of which are detailed on the back of our Welcome signs which are dotted around the Reserve).

One of these byelaws relates to bait-collecting – digging, collection and /or removal of bait of any description by hand or mechanical means is strictly prohibited.

The Reserve currently provides a voluntary bait-collection zone for anglers to collect lug and rag worm for their own use.  The sale of bait is prohibited. The Police and NIFCA support us with this work.
If you want to know anymore information please contact us at the Reserve office on 01289381470

Map detailing voluntary bait digging zone

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Volunteers needed to protect rare seabirds in Northumberland

As you know we are part of the Northumberland Little Tern Project and as a partnership we have been asking for shorebird warden volunteers. There's more in the article below - if you want to volunteer either come to the open event (details below) or get in contact with us direct.

"The Northumberland Little Tern Project is looking for volunteers to protect vulnerable nesting shorebirds this summer. This includes endangered little terns, ringed plovers and oystercatchers.
Little terns spend their winter on the west coast of Africa and return to our coastline at the end of April. These rare birds nest on the beach along with other shorebirds and are very susceptible to disturbance.


In Northumberland, little terns are predominantly found on the National Trust Long Nanny site at Beadnell beach and Natural England’s Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve (NNR), which stretches from Budle Bay to Berwick.

The Northumberland Little Tern Project is a partnership between the National Trust, Natural England, RSPB and the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which provides additional funding to the sites that Natural England and the National Trust have been protecting for many years. With this support, extra seasonal staff help protect the sites, provide new information signs and additional fencing to enclose nesting areas.

Chantal Macleod-Nolan, EU LIFE Little Tern Project Co-ordinator, said “Last year we had a really good outcome with 44 pairs of little terns nesting on the Northumberland coast and 52 chicks fledging by the end of the season. The terns had a difficult summer with high tides, human disturbance and persistent predators, and only persevered due to the continued efforts of nine staff and a team of 20 dedicated volunteers working around the clock across both sites. Without this hard-working team, we wouldn’t be able to protect these birds and as a result, volunteer recruitment is crucial to the little tern’s breeding success again this summer.”

Volunteers are essential for the protection of our breeding shorebirds, as engaging beach-users about the significance of the fenced off areas and the importance for dog-walkers to keep their dogs on leads makes a huge difference to the breeding success of these small visitors. The observational research data collected by these volunteers also contributes to a wider national shorebird protection scheme, with the information used to further the protection of these sensitive birds.

The enthusiastic team of wardens and volunteers monitor the shorebirds throughout the breeding season and raise public awareness, all while enjoying the stunning Northumberland coast.
The Northumberland Little Tern Project is hosting a volunteer information meeting on Friday 22 April 2016 between 10:30am-12:30pm at the National Trust Office, Low Newton by the Sea.
Take a left after the Tin Church, Newton Point, Alnwick, NE66 3EL.
To book a place, please contact: or call Natural England (01289 381470) / National Trust (01665 576874)."

Monday, 4 April 2016

EU Life+ Shorebird project

The second of Chantal' s (EU Life+ project co-ordinator) blogs. This one looks at the EU Life+ project and what we are doing this year to help give shorebirds a fighting chance on the coast.
This will be the third summer of the Northumberland Little tern project which is an ongoing 5 year project. Our focus this year is to continue fencing off current and new nesting sites with electric netting and also ropes to protect and offer the breeding shorebirds with protected and safe areas to choose from. In April, Lindisfarne NNR and National Trust Long Nanny site with additional assistance from the project shall begin to put our fencing up on beaches along with signage informing the public of these nesting sites.
Electric netting on the beach also look out for blue rope barriers.
Fencing is a valuable method of protecting breeding areas as it not only prevents human disturbance and predators on established sites; it also provides the new nesting opportunities for breeding terns and other shorebirds such as ringed plover to nest. As a result of fencing off a potential site in 2014, there were three pairs of little terns observed prospecting the new area in 2015. The creation of new nesting areas is one of the main criteria’s of the Little Tern Recovery Project and hopefully in the future, this addition will provide little terns with the option of nesting across five potential sites on the Northumberland Coast.         
Signs are put on the beach to help inform the public about sensitive areas.
For people who are out walking their dogs on the beach in the summer, please be aware that they need to be kept under control either on lead or at heel as many of our beach nesting birds are disturbed by dogs near their nests and chicks. Check out our very effective ‘Sharing our beaches with Birds’ leaflet downloadable from the blog page for more information when visiting our coast.

Volunteers and staff are out on the beach from May through to August speaking to the public.

During the breeding season, Lindisfarne NNR and The National trust have a dedicated team of wardens and volunteers who monitor the nesting birds, engaging and raise public awareness along the Northumberland Coast. Without these hard-working folk, we wouldn’t be able to protect these breeding shorebirds and if are interested in joining our team of volunteers, please contact us via email:

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Spring event - big success. Next a Reserve Spring Clean!

Despite being forecast horrendous weather our event on Saturday went really well. We had badge making and crafts to keep the little 'uns entertained while volunteers were busy showing wildlife from the Window on Wild Lindisfarne.

Thanks to everyone who came - the next event is a spring clean event on 8th of April. We'll be meeting at the Snook carpark on the Island at 9.30 to don our high vis and litter pickers then help remove litter from the shore which is unsightly and harmful to the environment. If you would like to attend give the Reserve office a call on 01890 381470 for more details. You can turn up on the day however we suggest you dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear and bring some lunch. All other equipment will be provided.

It's a great way to get outside as well as doing something amazing for your local environment.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Lindisfarne NNR's shorebird protection scheme

We welcomed back Chantal Macleod-Nolan who is working with us on the Northumberland Little Tern Project which has been running for 2 years. Here is the first of her blogs which is looking at the previous season and how we are starting to prepare for the return of our breeding birds.

Spring is here with Easter eggs and baby lambs. As the weather gets warmer, Lindisfarne NNR and other similar sites such as The National Trust at Long Nanny are busy with preparations for the ongoing protection of endangered little terns and other sensitive breeding shorebirds including ringed plovers and oystercatchers.  Little terns overwinter on the west coast of Africa and shall arrive to our lovely coastline at the end of April where they will begin nesting in early May. These rare birds nest on the beach along with other shorebirds and are very susceptible to disturbance.
Electric fencing on the beach

The Northumberland Little Tern Project continues to improve and build on the efforts of the previous year by contributing funds to extend Lindisfarne NNR's shorebird protection scheme including additional fencing to enclose nesting areas. Last year we used approximately 2.5km on Lindisfarne NNR of blue exterior rope in addition to 1km of electric wire and 1.5km mesh netting.
Extra information signs were designed and put up in 2015, including the EU LIFE Little Tern panels across the sites and we also had approximately 40 temporary information signs across the sites informing the public how they can help by putting dogs on leads or avoiding certain areas.
Keep an eye out for our signs on the beach letting you know areas to avoid during the summer.

Last year, we had 44 little tern pairs nesting on the Northumberland Coast with 52 fledglings by the end of the season. It was a good summer with terns surviving some high tides and persistent predators, however numbers were less than in 2014, where we had 65 pairs and 87 fledged. Despite lower individual birds Lindisfarne had the highest productivity figures on the coast. Who knows what this 2016 season will bring?


Monday, 21 March 2016

Event on Saturday 26th March

It was the first day of Spring recently and we'll be at the Window On Wild Lindsifarne on Saturday with crafts and games to celebrate. We are there from 10.00 till 13.00 and there will be make and takes for kids (and big kids). Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Look forward to seeing you there.