The team here at Havergate had a great weekend running the Spoonbill event on the 2nd and 3rd August. The sun continued to shine both days and the boat was full on all trips with first timers to the island and a few returning visitors.
Thankfully, the iconic Spoonbills were in attendance doing what they do best on Havergate - sleeping! However, that was fine, we managed to set the scope up on them and let visitors have a look. There were plenty of other waders feeding in the lagoons including redshank, dunlin and avocet as well as common terns with young chicks on the scrape in front of North Hide. Here are a couple of photos taken on Sunday by Daniel Nickells.
The RSPB run several events on the island throughout the year, the next event running this weekend on the 16th 17th and 18th August is the Havergate Adventure. Details of which can be found here: http://www.rspb.org.uk/events/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-369383
When heading out to the Island this week to do some preparation for the Havergate adventure weekend we had a real treat of seeing a harbour porpoise who was feeding at high tide. Maybe he will show up for some lucky visitors this weekend!?
I have now completed my first month as the newly appointed South Suffolk Coast warden and what a great month it has been! So, this is my first posting of what I hope will be a regular update of the goings on on Havergate Island, Boyton and Hollesley Marshes.
Firstly I will mention our successful breeding season (for gulls that is) on the Island. It was a record breaking season with 2070 pairs of Lesser Black Backs and 552 Herring Gull. Productivity is also looking good with thousands of young gulls taking over. We also had 60 pairs of Common Terns sitting. However, these pairs arrived rather late onto the island so are likely to have failed elsewhere. I will be able to confirm our final figures very soon.
With the tidal surge back in December there was worry about how the habitat and wildlife would fare. I can happily report that everyone has been pleasantly surprised with many grassland species such as meadow browns, gatekeepers, ringlets all present in abundance and also the Ground Lackey moths caterpillars. The Ground Lackey Moth is a saltmarsh species and therefore more able to cope with being submerged! I also have more good news for the Havergate Hares. We have had top sightings of around 9 adults and 2 leverets. This means the hares are breeding and we will hopefully start to see their numbers rise again. They are more wary of people now but can still be spotted enjoying the sunshine laying amongst the gorse.
Havergate Hare sitting under the gorse
I met up with the Woodbridge local RSPB group today who we will be running the Havergate Adventure with on the 16th- 18th August. This will be a great opportunity for visitors to get out to the island, experience the fantastic wildlife including plenty of waders, the brown hare, and possibly even get a sight of our regular Spoonbills. For more details of this event please look on our events page on the RSPB Havergate website.
After over four years of tireless work for the island and it's wildlife, Kieren has left us this month for new exciting challenges on different shores.
He will work not too far away from the Suffolk Coast, therefore, I hope very much to see him returning occasionally to the island which means so much to both of us.
In the past years, we have spent many happy hours together on the island and I have selected a few photos of more or less hard work:
Sailing to the island with the small speedboat on a sunny day in 2013.
Cleaning the jetty was a regular task for Kieren.
Checking the sluices and the water level in the lagoons is another regular thing to do on the island.
Playing with the birds must have been one of the highlights of the job: this young gull had to be kept happy while the birdringing team was at work.
Playing with mud was surely another highlight: the National Trust team got an introduction into the secret life of invertebrates in the mud.
Assessing the damage from the floodnight of 6 December 2013 was probably the lowpoint for both of us.
And this was the situation most people have met Kieren in: he sailed many visitors over to the island on the October Storm.
Goodbye and all the very best wishes.