Friday, 26 March 2021

Spring has sprung!

 It is a real clash of the seasons on the Reserve at the moment with Skylarks and Meadow Pipits singing their hearts out, establishing territory for the breeding season ahead. Fulmars are back on their breeding ledges with their familiar laughing chatter to one another and the first frogs spawn has been seen in the flooded dune slacks. But winter interest is still lingering on with Brent and Pink-footed Geese around in small numbers and Short-eared Owls, Woodcock and Jack Snipe observed in the dunes this week.

Frog spawn now can be seen on the Reserve

Skylarks now singing in the dunes ©JJD

With Skylarks and Meadow Pipits now establishing territory in the dunes it is critical that visitors stick to the paths and desire lines and keep dogs on a short lead. Also be aware that Pirri-pirri bur will be soon growing again so please check all clothes and pet fur and remove any burs before departing the site.

After the snow and ice of last month it has been nice to get out in the milder weather and do some practical work on the Reserve preparing the site for what is likely to be a very busy summer. We have been busy picking up litter and repairing some of our site infrastructure. We have also been carrying on with the disturbance surveys that we have been undertaking since last October.

Goswick Sands in a blizzard in February

Litter picked up from the dunes

Another quick reminder that we are still monitoring a small Avian Influenza outbreak so if you see any dead or sick birds please do not approach them and keep dogs on a short lead to prevent them coming into contact with infected birds. Please report any dead or sick birds to the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve Office on 01289 381470.

It won’t be long before we start re-emerging from lockdown and enjoy all the new arrivals that spring has to offer. Orchids will be bursting through the ground and we should soon be hearing the first Sandwich Terns arriving back from Africa before the Common, Arctic, Roseate and Little Tern join them a few weeks later.

Sandwich Tern in flight ©JJD

The breeding shorebirds will soon start establishing territory along the Reserve coastline and another breeding season will commence. We are currently looking to bolster our site staff and volunteers with a small team of seasonal Shorebird wardens. If you would like more information contact the Reserve office on: 01289 381470.

Shorebirds returning to breed

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