We have decided to change things around a bit in 2019 with a brand new events calendar.

We will still be offering the normal first Saturday of the month ‘Explore Havergate Island’  trip (except May, June and July when the island is closed). This trip is a Non Guided trip where you are free to explore the hides and trails at your own pace. A guide will be present on the island should you prefer to stay with someone and learn more about Havergate.

And then in place of the usual event weekends we have decided to incorporate ‘Havergate through the seasons’. This event is a guided trip where you will be guided by one of our expert guides. These trips will run throughout the year and will cover all the seasons. This being the case you can choose when you would most like to visit the island depending on what you would like to see and experience.

 Here is a flavour of what you are likely to see to help you pick a date…

In Autumn avocets gather in large numbers in the Alde-Ore estuary. These elegant black and white wading birds will use the island to feed on the lagoons. Look out too, for many other migrant wading birds, ducks and smaller birds such as wheatears that use Havergate Island as a re-fuelling station on their journey to warmer climes. 

Winter is perhaps the toughest time of year to visit, but if you wrap up warm and pack your flask you will be rewarded with an atmospheric morning looking out onto the lagoons. Winter is the time when big numbers of duck like to hang out on Havergate. You can expect to see pintail, teal, wigeon, shoveler, shelduck and gadwall as well as a wide variety of waders. 

Come spring the island is starting to wake up with the saltmarsh wild flowers slowly coming into bloom and the seawalls start to come alive with butterflies. This is also a great time to watch brown hares, migrant wading birds, late remaining ducks, barn owls and little egrets.

Late spring and early summer we close the island to limit disturbance to the breeding birds. But, if you book onto one of the late summer trips you can enjoy a lazy day watching the boats sail up and down the river, butterflies and other insects busy on the flowers and you can catch the last immature gulls and common terns preparing to fledge. This is a great time to see the spoonbills and wader numbers will be starting to grow. 

Along with these standard trips we will be running the annual Havergate Adventure in August, and we also have a special day in the making to celebrate Havergates 70th Birthday! We have also included a couple of photography mornings ‘capturing first light on Havergate’ for those of you that are interested in a more tailored event aimed towards amateur photographers who want to get out onto the island as early as possible. We have one running in the summer and one in the winter. This trip is following the success of the spring event we ran last year.

I will post more info on all the trips in the New Year, but in the meantime if you want to find out more take a look at our website www.rspb.org.uk/havergateisland 

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