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.
Glad to know that the gulls had a good nesting season. Unfortunately when we made a 350 mile round trip to see the hares on Havergate island it was the gulls which prevented us from seeing them (or much of anything else). Hopefully the hares will recover in time too!
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