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The high winds seem to have abated this week but have been replaced by snow and ice!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.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

14th January: Lough hide roof damage

Unfortunately the recent strong winds and gales have caused damage to the Lough hide roof, blowing off a large section of the corner.

The hide was due for replacement this year anyway, but unfortunately we have had to close it unexpectedly early because of the damage to the roof.

The hole in the hide roof
Unsafe for visitors

14th January: New Pirri-pirri bur information signs


The Reserve team are in the process of replacing the Pirri-pirri bur signs that have been in place for several years. The old plastic signs will all be replaced with metal signs, much more resilient and brighter along with more information.

Above is one of the new signs, in place at the Snook car park.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

7th January: Little egret fishing sequence

One of our volunteers was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to capture some amazing photographs of a wading Little egret catching fish!

Al photos copyrighted to JJD.

Searching the water

Spotted something...

Got it!

Giving the fish a shake from side to side before swallowing

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

6th January: Barnacle geese

One of the Reserve's many winter avian visitors, the Barnacle goose, can still be seen here now. A brilliant place to see them is Budle Bay - you can park at the layby next to the white railings and view them from here. After a massive influx of over 7000 in September, between 400 - 700 have remained throughout the winter months.

Here are some spectacular photos of these geese, taken by one of our volunteers.

Barnacle geese in flight - Copyright JJD.

Barnacle geese in flight - Copyright JJD.

Barnacle geese in flight - Copyright JJD.

Monday, 5 January 2015

5th January: Peak bird counts for December

We have collated the peak bird counts from across the NNR during the month of December, these are from a mixture of ad-hoc high counts and numbers from the monthly Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS).

Selected peak counts:

Light-bellied Brent goose: 1350
Pink-footed goose: 4000
Greylag goose: 200
Barnacle goose: 400
Wigeon: 2500
Whooper swan: 20
Mallard: 270
Teal: 3000
Shelduck: 1500
Little egret: 6
Golden plover: 2500
Ringed plover: 30
Dunlin: 1000
Bar-tailed godwit: 1000
Sanderling: 170
Redshank: 600
Curlew: 1200