Monday, 10 March 2014

10th March - David's volunteering diary

Last weekend our regular volunteer David spent the afternoons meeting visitors to the Reserve. Lindisfarne NNR has a dedicated group of volunteer wardens who act as guides, David is one of our guides who spends his time meeting visitors and highlighting the special wildlife of the Reserve - here is another post from David who paints an excellent picture of his time spent volunteering at the building.

David writes:

Fri 7th March

"Today I christened my new Natural England Volunteer fleece at the Window on Wild Lindisfarne and I haven't had it off since they were presented to us on Wednesday. It is a good thing that it dries so quickly. I couldn't get it off 'cos of my bad shoulder so had to keep it on in the shower... What the natives will make of Colin (another of our regular volunteers) in Eyemouth wandering round with Natural England on his chest goodness only knows.
Friday was sunny and very, very windy from the north west which continually poured water over the causeway - I have never seen so much water 4 hours after safe crossing began. Steady stream of people (no children). There was one redshank for about 20 minutes in the edge of the pond right by the window. On the scrape and the grass about 70 dark-bellied brent geese and and in the water 2 shelduck, 20 teal plus others in the grass. 3 curlew, 2 oystercatchers and 3 godwit. Some of the black headed gulls had black heads, approx total 20. Plus 100 herring gulls. Also lambs away to the east. A retired couple having just moved to Berwick (may join the bird club) confirmed my count!
Thus lots to see and talk about and people were very appreciative and said what a surprise it was to come into the building and to be shown the wildlife - more so than usual. It must be the new uniform.
I left with nearly 2 hours of safe crossing left (still sunny) but only 4 cars in the main car park! I am coming to the conclusion that people are very tide conscious and water on the causeway puts them off and that they mostly leave at 3pm anyway.

Female teal - one of the birds David writes about visiting the flooded scrape

Sun 9th March

Today was sunny and breezy to start with but more cloud and less breeze later. The causeway was clear of water and sand! The main car park was three quarters full.
On the scrape there were 5 herring gulls, about 10 black headed gulls (most with black heads) and about 5 teal. To the east of the main scrape there were 2 mute swans for most of the time, more teal and 1 lapwing. Starlings came and went. 12 oyster catchers flew in for about 30 minutes to the east of the main scrape. 1 shelduck flew in after one hour and stayed - this may be the same shelduck that has been around the scrape for a few weeks now.
The pond in front of the window had 1 redshank and 2 pied wagtails - looks like the pond is attracting more bird visitors as Spring approaches.
There were about 80 visitors per hour for 3 hours, mostly nice spacing. Talking to one couple the woman announced they came from Fairburn Ings (in Yorkshire) until I announced that my parents came from Castleford and the she admitted they came from Castleford too. Last Friday a similar thing happened when a couple announced they came from Thornton Cleveleys until I said I came from Blackpool then they admitted that they too lived in that infamous place! Are we getting a series of posh visitors, even up market?
At 2.30 it went very quiet and after 10 min I looked up and down the road and there were no people to be seen. I went home and the main car park was still about one quarter full."

Many thanks from the Reserve team to David and our other volunteer guides, for continuing to give their time to meet visitors to the Window on Wild Lindisfarne and point out the amazing wildlife of the Reserve to them.

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