Thousands of birds wintering on 'nationally important' Northumberland nature reserve

Thousands of wildfowl have also been flying in and out of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve in recent weeks.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 10:22 am
Brent Geese.

Over 20,000 Wigeon and 4,000 Light-Bellied Brent have been utilising the extensive eel grass beds across the reserve, while there was an incredible display of more than 3,000 Golden Plovers at Chare Ends on Holy Island.

"They make up a proportion of more than 50,000 birds that winter across the reserve, making Lindisfarne not only regionally but also nationally important for its wintering aggregation of birds,” said reserve manager Andy Denton.

"The birds need our absence, not our presence, in order to rest and feed, following mammoth migrations from the high Arctic to get here. So please be aware of the bird life on the reserve and give them plenty of space.”

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Meanwhile, shorebirds have had a ‘relatively successful’ season on the reserve.

There were record number of Little Terns breeding, although sadly a big storm coupled with spring tides resulted in many of the nests being washed out.

Some of the early nesters already had chicks at this stage and so were able to move away from the high water.

Arctic Terns also had a record breeding season.

Ringed Plover nesting attempts were down across the reserve but within the protection areas productivity was high.

“All in all, it was a relatively successful season with the protection areas providing valuable disturbance free areas for birds to attempt to nest in what has been yet another exceptionally busy visitor season,” said Andy. “However, we can’t control the weather, and this had a major impact in productivity on several sites.”

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