Friday, 22 January 2021

New Year update


We hope everyone had a fun and restful festive break even if it was a little different to normal years. Within the first few days of 2021 we entered another lockdown and while it feels like we a stuck in a perpetual cycle of lockdowns, nature still carries on unaware. It is especially at times like these when we feel extremely fortunate and privileged to work at Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve. Working outdoors on an incredible site, getting a hit of nature while many others are stuck indoors. 

Stunning- the Reserve in the low winter sun ©JJD

The outbreak of Avian Influenza strain H5N8 which appeared to have mainly manifested itself in the Brent Goose population seems to have become less prevalent. Thankfully over the last month no dead or sick birds have been seen on the Reserve. However, it could still flare up so if you see any birds that are dead or seem infected please do not approach them and keep dogs on a short lead to prevent them coming into contact with them. Please report any dead or sick birds to the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve Office on 01289 381470 if found on the Reserve.

Over Christmas and into the New Year the weather became very seasonal and cold with ice seen on the causeway and the Cheviots snow-capped away in the distance. During these cold snaps it is even more important to not access the shoreline and cause unnecessary disturbance. Constant disturbance by people and dogs leads wintering birds to waste valuable energy supplies which are vital for survival during the arduous migration. As our hides are currently locked due to Covid, the platform at Budle Bay is an ideal spot to see the visual majesty of winter migration from a safe distance.

Ice on the causeway

The Cattle and Sheep have now left the Reserve after doing a fantastic job over autumn and winter grazing the Links and Snook. This is important to enhance the botanically rich dune slacks and ensure they don’t end up becoming dominated by rank grasses. The sheep also do a good job of nibbling their way through some of the invasives such as Michaelmas Daisy and some Pirri-pirri.

Cows grazing on the links

During lockdown we ask that people stay local and follow the current government guidelines. There is light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine rollout and we lock forward to being able to welcome visitors from far and wide once again and showcase this magical place.

No comments:

Post a Comment