Thursday, 18 December 2014

18th December: The Window on Wild Lindisfarne through the year

One of the Reserve's volunteers, Richard, regularly visits the Window on Wild Lindisfarne - WoWL for short - to inform visitors to the building about the work of Natural England on the NNR and what we do to conserve the special habitats here. He has very kindly written a look back on his time spent at the building during 2014:

"My first full year of volunteering in the WoWL is coming to an end and here is a look back.
As an international attraction Lindisfarne attracts visitors from round the world. I have spoken to people from every continent but the prize for the longest travelled visitors goes to a family from Howick, New Zealand!
The type of visitor is very  varied  -  the professional birder, the day tripper who is pleased to be shown the common birds,  friars on retreat and large numbers of school children. They take delight in the colourful close ups of birds such as the teal that the telescope affords.
As for the wildlife, the scrapes haven't had any rare visitors but good numbers of teal, lapwing, redshank, dunlin, bar-tailed godwits, mallard, curlew, black-headed and herring gulls, oystercatchers and  starling. There was as a small group of black-tailed godwit for many weeks and usually at least one grey heron. The elusive snipe was found on a few occasions after careful searching with the scope.  On the high tide the harbour dark-bellied Brent geese come to the scrapes along with hundreds of golden plover.  A kestrel - the same? -  often quarters the fields but no sign of any short-eared or other owls. In summer the swallows and martins swoop down to drink in the pond by the window -much to the visitors' delight and frustration as they  try to take pictures. Starlings nested in the gaps between the stones of the building. My highlight was not a birding one but the stoats. In winter a stoat in ermine ran around rocks in the field and in summer one circled the window pond for many minutes."

Thanks Richard for the insight into a year at the Window on Wild Lindisfarne. Richard is also a keen photographer and has kindly sent us these shots of a flock of Golden Plover taken at the WoWL.

Golden plover (Richard Poyer)

The Reserve team say a huge thanks to Richard and to the rest of the "WoWL guides" for all the hours put in so far, providing an invaluable information source to visitors.

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