Havergate Island

Havergate Island
Welcome to the Havergate community group. Havergate is a magical place, Suffolk’s only island! The reserve is nestled within the Alde & Ore estuary and is well known for its year round bird spectacle.
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  • Blog Post: After the Storm:

    5 days have passed since the storm surge on the evening of Thursday 5 December. Conditions were too difficult to land on Havergate immediately after the surge on the Friday. However, a slow sail round the island on Friday morning revealed at least two breaches in the wall and two of the hides at been...
  • Blog Post: Great Memories of a fantastic Summer

    Havergate will never look the same after storm Xaver, the flood it caused and the resulting damage to the infrastructure and hides on the island, which makes all the memories of this year's summer even more precious. Lesley Ribbens and her family have been amongst the fortunate ones who had the time...
  • Blog Post: Our Hare made it onto VisitEngland's '101 Things to Do' List

    The busy season on Havergate Island is over for this year and it seems to be a good time to tidy up all the interesting news that has gathered on my desk in the past few months. Havergate Island, once the RSPB's best kept secret - as some said - has become well known this year. Of course, you...
  • Blog Post: Jacob's Adventure on Havergate Island

    The following is a guest post written by Jacob Ribbens, 8 years old, for the Tonbridge Local Group's Autumn newsletter originally. He was so kind to agree to a second publication, therefore, please enjoy reading his report about our greatest adventure on Havergate Island this summer: "This...
  • Blog Post: Big Wild Sleepout: the comments

    Four families headed out with the RSPB boat 'October Storm' to Suffolk's only island on the afternoon of the 10 August 2013 for a true adventure. Photo by Kevin Sawford, www.kevinsawford.com Here is what they thought about their exclusive experience on Havergate Island's first ever...
  • Blog Post: Big Wild Sleepout: the facts

    The Big Wild Sleepout on Havergate Island was truely an amazing adventure for everyone involved - visitors and volunteers alike! Here are the real numbers behind the event of a lifetime: • 1 hare trail with 16 white hares, many strange clues and 15 correct facts had been set up on •...
  • Blog Post: Spoonbills, Shorelarks and Short eared owls

    Whilst the island is still shut to the general public bird life on Havergate has continued. Highlights so far include wintering spoonbills, shorelarks and short eared owls. Its interesting how spoonbill wintering ecology in Suffolk is beginning to change and especially in the Alde- Ore estuary. ...
  • Blog Post: Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

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  • Blog Post: The adventure of Havergate:

    As the year rolls on thoughts begin to turn from breeding birds to passage birds. However, If I was asked to use just one word to sum up the breeding season, I’d say long. The gulls were on eggs by Mid March with the first chicks hatching in mid April. Then we had the encouraging signs of 23...
  • Blog Post: Countryfiled

    It's been a couple of years since the BBC last visited the island therefore it was with some pleasure that we where lucky enough last Thursday to host the BBC's countryfile team. Despite the cold temperatures (almost -6 according to the thermometer on nearby Orfordness) a good day was had by...
  • Blog Post: The Analysis:

    The results are in, 99% of all birds have fledged and after a changeable summer, the 2011 Havergate island breeding bird story is ready to be told. The final counts of the large gulls where 460 herring gulls and 1030 lesser blacked backed gulls , a grand total of 1490 large gulls, how does...
  • Blog Post: A big thankyou

    So after 5 months I said goodbye to the last of this years residential volunteers today. Can I just take this chance to say a big thank you to all who volunteered this summer. Your help has been invaluable and much appreciated. Without you the island would be a much poorer place and I sincerely hope...
  • Blog Post: The continuing adventures of the Tern chicks

    The Tern chicks are still alive. In fact more than just alive, they appear to be doing really well but I won’t use the word thriving. Every day I go out to the island, I presume the worse, an abandoned colony, parents absent and activity all but over. However, this has so far (touch wood) not been...
  • Blog Post: A quick update

    The breeding season continues a pace on the island. However, firstly I must break some bad news. In my last blog piece I reported that the island was playing host to 23 Avocets the highest breeding number in some time, however between the dates 14 th to the 16 th of July all the nests where predated...
  • Blog Post: Invasion from the North

    Of late the blog seems to have been dominated by articles on “issues”. As a change I thought it would be nice to update people about what has been going on, on the island. Every day seems to bring a good species to the island and the island is jumping with birds. Most lagoons are full...
  • Blog Post: Some sad news

    I’ll keep this brief but sad news..... The Flamingo has departed the islands. No more will anyone look across Main lagoon and be cheered by sight of a large pink bird, normally with his head in the water, feeding away, no more will he take off in flight and look like a long thin pink pencil with...
  • Blog Post: Quite the view

    Coming back to the island after my holiday I was met by one of the more spectacular sights I have witnessed. Wigeon numbers are now easily in the triple figures, as are teal. Brent geese, Gadwall, Shoveler and Mallards where all present. Numbers of Golden plover, Dunlin, Lapwing, Knot, Avocet,...
  • Blog Post: A sense of normality

    For the first time in a couple of years there is a sense of normality about the island this year. This is the first time since I arrived in my post that there hasn't been a big or major project on the island. In 2010/11 the October storm went through its 25 year refit which took it out of action...
  • Blog Post: Video Collection

    Here as promised is a collection of videos from the island. Little Stint on Havergate, courtesy of David Fairhurst, Nov 2011 Definately an unsual record for Havergate in November but in a county contact they do overwinter. Having overwintered in other estuaries in the past 20 years or so. Little...
  • Blog Post: 'Photography: Day of Discovery' - A Tutor's View

    As a change, this blog is a special guest piece, written and illustrated by Danny Porter from www.dannysdigiscoping.com. He is one of our invaluable Volunteer Photography Tutors. "After a meeting, many (long) emails and one cancelled trip [because of the cold weather in March], the very first...
  • Blog Post: "A wonderful event" – Visitor Comments on our first 'Photography: Day of Discovery'

    On 21 April 2013, Havergate Island with it's nearly tame hares, rare birds and unique landscapes welcomed the first visitors to a brand new event format. In this post, I will only list the comments of our visitors from the first event; in the next blog post, you will be able to read my own thoughts...
  • Blog Post: Recent happenings on Havergate island

    Its been something of a purple patch for birds on the Havergate reserves for birds over the last week or so. The highlights include a rough legged buzzard (twice), a short eared owl, a couple of hen harriers, a firecrest, two whooper swans and at least one spotted redshank. There has also been some...
  • Blog Post: Some corrections and more news

    First, I’m going to start with a correction from the last blog. The number of barn Owl fledglings is in fact three. This was only found out last Sunday when the Landgard ringing group came onto the island to do their annual ringing of the large gull chicks and as aside ring the Barn owl chicks...
  • Blog Post: Catch up

    Its been a while since I blogged about anything to do with the island and with the weather looking increasingly unsettled over the next few days, now seems like as good a time as any. The breeding season is well and truly wrapped up and as such attention turned to migrant waders and summering spoonbills...
  • Blog Post: Common gulls on Havergate

    Finally, just after I was about to give up on them, the Common gulls have swung into action. Laying there eggs in some fabulous locations. I was expecting them to lay out in the open, in a big dense colony, like their close cousin the Tern. However, they’ve completely taken me by surprise by nesting...