We are now on Day 24 of this current cold snap where we have had a lot of snow and extreme low temperatures of -15 and currently we are back into a period of severe frosts.
The lagoons and the ground remain frozen meaning that hunting for food it extremely difficult. During the last few days we have found a few barn owls on the reserve that have not made it unfortunately.
Due to current frozen conditions affecting our birds and our infrastructure, the reserve will remain closed.
The longer these conditions last the harder it becomes for our wildlife. Please help our wildlife as much as possible through this extremely hard winter. Our staff and volunteers at reserves with shops (Old Moor, Fairburn, Saltholme etc), can offer advice on what you can feed to help our birds through this extreme weather. Please check their websites for further information.
Well we are nearing the end of another year and here is my top 5 Blacktoft moments of 2010.
1) The amazing sight of a rough-legged buzzard being chased by nine of our marsh harriers on Sunday 24th Oct
2) The walking, flying and even climbing young bittern of Wednesday 15th September.
3) The reception vapourer! – will those eggs hatch during spring of 2011!
4) Twenty marsh harriers displaying, nest building and chasing each other throughout the reserve during April. With six individual marsh harrier present constantly right in front of reception. What an amazing year for the marsh harrier!
5) The siege of little egrets on singleton. A new reserve record for little egrets with 19 been counted on the reserve.
There are many other moments throughout the year at Blacktoft – if you would like to share your moments then please add a comment to this blog.
Have a good Christmas and New Year.
Unfortunately, we remain closed due to frozen conditions on the reserve.
We are now two weeks into this recent cold snap at Blacktoft Sands and the forecast is for continuing cold conditions continuing until the end of the year. This means that the snow that has now frozen during the extreme low temperatures of at least -15 on Tuesday will take a long while to melt.
Our birds are struggling to cope with this prolonged cold weather. Large areas of our reedbed have been flattened by the snow shown in this photo:
This means that our reedbed species like bearded tit have been particularly badly hit. We are providing supplementary food to try and help our reedbed species through this hard spell. Our ducks have left the reserve due to the frozen lagoons and many have also left the Humber estuary where they normally head during cold spells so the wildlife in the Humber has also been badly affected. Our birds of prey are also finding it extremely hard to find food.
Our other wildlife such as deer and hares have also been struggling through these days. The fallow deer is still alive but is not looking good:
When conditions improve for birds and for visitors the reserve will reopen. Please keep checking our website for the latest information.
Meanwhile our reserves at Fairburn Ings and Old Moor are now open and are excellent places to visit during the winter. At Fairburn Ings, around five long-eared owls have returned.
Blacktoft Sands remains closed.
Due to snow and icy conditions on the reserve we are likely to remain closed until nearer the end of the week when milder conditions are due to arrive.
Please keep checking website for further updates.
Also, I am afraid the event planned for Wednesday has had to be cancelled due to the current conditions on the reserve.
A closer view of those tracks: