Family fun to mark World Migratory Bird Day

Window on Wild Lindisfarne on Holy Island.
Window on Wild Lindisfarne on Holy Island.

Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve (NNR) is celebrating World Migratory Bird Day on Sunday with a family fun day.

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. Each year, on the second weekend in May, people around the world take action and organise public events.

Lindisfarne NNR is probably best known for its autumn/winter migration in which thousands of geese, ducks and waders use the Reserve, making it the most important overwintering site in the North East.

The drop-in event takes place at Window on Wild Lindisfarne on Sunday from 10.30am to 1pm. No need to book in advance.

Among the migratory birds are light-bellied Brent geese of which Lindisfarne has 50 per cent of the world’s population. What visitors may not know, however, is that in summer the reserve welcomes shorebirds such as little, arctic and common terns that follow a migration of up to 20,000 miles to breed.

To give these birds a helping hand following their long and dangerous migration, a shorebird protection scheme runs on the Reserve between May and August, where there may be access restrictions on some beaches.

Mhairi Maclauchlan, Reserve warden, said: “Lindisfarne NNR at different times of the year is home to some of the UK’s most amazing species of migratory birds. It’s important to realise that birds are only playing out some of their yearly story on our shores.

“Our event on Sunday is a great opportunity to tell some truly fascinating migratory bird stories happening right here on the Reserve. We are talking about birds such as the humble swallow making a journey of thousands of miles over land and sea – it’s mind-boggling.”