Tuesday, 10 March 2015


In recent weeks Budle Bay has seen large numbers of geese including 4 Bean geese among a flock of 400 greylag

Monday, 9 February 2015

9th February: Winter duck calls

In the third instalment of our bird  'audio guide', we are showcasing the calls of various duck species seen and heard at Lindisfarne NNR. These can be seen at various points across the Reserve, including Budle Bay, the Fenham-le-Moor hide and also the Lough on Holy Island. Why not spend a day on the NNR to see if you can spot them all before the end of this winter?




Tufted Duck

Long-tailed duck


Friday, 6 February 2015

6th February: Scots pine regeneration

This time of year is best for spotting tiny Scots pine saplings around the Snook where, if left to grow unchecked, the sand dune habitat would slowly change to become dominated by Scots pine and scrub such as hawthorn. The rest of the dune vegetation is rank and dark brown in colour, making it easy to spot the bright green saplings, which are hand-pulled to ensure root removal.

The 'Mothership' tree, with tiny saplings to the left


It is very important to keep the existing cover provided by Scots pine and scrub among the dunes for small birds passing through, using Lindisfarne as a valuable stop-off on migration. This is why the Reserve team only remove new regeneration and not the established tree cover.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

4th February: Peak bird counts during January

Some selected peak bird counts from around the NNR during the month of January:

1000 Barnacle geese
1500 Shelduck
150 Dark-bellied Brent geese
2000 Light-bellied Brent geese
32 Whooper swan
3200 Pink-footed geese
350 Greylag geese
300 Mallard
256 Pintail
16 Long-tailed duck
400 Oystercatcher
1200 Dunlin
700 Bar-tailed godwit
600 Redshank

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

3rd February: Wild wader calls

Last week we brought you the calls of geese that can be heard around Lindisfarne NNR. This week, some wintering wader calls can be heard right here on the blog. Flocks of small waders may flight past quickly as you're watching from the Fenham-Le-Moor hide or near the causeway, so having a sound guide to various waders can be useful for identification.



Golden plover


Bar-tailed godwit

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

26th January: Wintering goose calls

You may recall our posts from last summer about bird calls from our breeding birds, including the different calls of several tern species. We are following this up with some 'sounds of winter birds', a mini-guide to some calls you might hear if you're visiting the NNR during January and February.

This week we're bringing you an audio guide to the wintering geese of the Reserve - if you spot skeins of geese flying overhead, often the best way to identify them is by their call. Please press play on the following players to hear each species.

Brent goose

Barnacle goose

Pink-footed goose

Greylag goose

Next week: a guide to Lindisfarne's wintering wader calls.

Friday, 16 January 2015

18th January: White horses on the shore

High winds and gales have continued to batter the Northeast coast this week, with Lindisfarne being no exception.

In addition to our blog post about the Lough hide roof damage and Brent geese hunkered down on Holy Island, we bring you views of 'white horses' rolling in to the shores of the Island during the strong winds last week.

The high winds seem to have abated this week but have been replaced by snow and ice! This is still balmy however when compared to the Arctic breeding grounds of many of our wintering bird species.

15th January: Brent geese on farmland, Holy Island

Around 300 Dark-bellied and 50 Light-bellied Brent geese have been spotted sheltering on farmland during the recent high winds. Reserve staff spotted the birds whilst out replacing signs so took these photos, not bad for a small digital camera!

These charismatic small geese can often be spotted feeding on the mudflats from the Causeway and from the hide at Fenham-Le-Moor.