Monday, 7 January 2013

7th Jan: Reserve news update

Like most of the UK, the end of December was very wet at Lindisfarne. As a result, there is an usually large amount of standing water on Holy Island. Conveniently, the standing water in the dunes provides natural drinking areas for the cattle. The very mild conditions have enabled the cattle to remain on Holy Island into the new year, in previous years they have been taken back to the mainland in December due to harsh conditions. They continue to graze the vegetation and will remain on the island until around the end of January if the mild conditions continue.

Peak bird counts from December included 21 Red-throated Divers, 3100 Light-bellied Brent Geese, 1350 Shelduck, 2500 Wigeon, 310 Pintail, 350 Common Scoters, 1100 Oystercatchers, 819 Lapwings, 2000 Bar-tailed Godwits, 450 Redshanks and 620 Curlews.

January is a great time for winter walks at Lindisfarne. The Reserve is a great place to come to watch birds and there are fantastic photography opportunities, please be mindful of the codes of conduct (see link). Please do not go too close to birds or seals to prevent disturbance, and stick to paths and existing desire lines to prevent impact to wildlife and their habitats. The hides on the Reserve are the best places to watch birds from, these are at The Lough and Fenham-le-Moor (see leaflet).
Mass flight of Wigeon (John Dunn)

Lapwing (John Dunn)

There is great variety to the work we do at Lindisfarne NNR. Before Christmas, Holy Island resident Alison Brigham rang the office to say she had found an injured Kestrel on her farm. The female Kestrel was dazed and had been attacked by a Sparrowhawk, it may have flown into the overhead power cables. We took it to the Berwick Swan Trust who brought it back to health. Over the years, the Berwick Swan Trust have been very helpful by taking in injured birds found on the Reserve. Jim from Berwick Swan Trust brought the Kestrel back to Lindisfarne on Friday and Alison then released it where she had first found it.

All wild birds are protected by law and it is illegal to kill, harm, exploit or hold a bird in captivity. The law aims to protect wild birds, but not to discourage the public from helping birds in need. However, when handling injured birds, great care should be taken that no harm is caused. Do not handle a wild bird unless it is essential to help it, and only do so if you are experienced and confident.

No comments:

Post a Comment