I am fortunate enough to look after the wildlife on Suffolk’s only island, found on the beautiful River Ore. Havergate Island is a peaceful haven made up of saltmarsh, shingle and saline lagoons which support a wealth of wildlife. For those of us that think variety is the spice of life, the wonderful thing about Havergate is that it changes throughout the seasons, offering a different wildlife spectacle as spring warms into summer and autumn’s warm colours give way to a more sedate winter palette.
At this time of year, brown hares can be seen lazing in the sun amongst the gorse and short eared owls can often be seen gliding over the island hunting for food. Summer and autumn offer fantastic views of waders such as avocet, redshank and godwit and it still thrills me to spot our rare spoonbills, which can frequently be seen loafing on the lagoons.
The lagoons are wonderful, but it really does benefit to explore the whole of the island. Wildlife wonders can be found in every corner of Havergate. As I move around the reserve at the moment, specialist spiders and beetles scurry across the shingle, I spot ground lackey moth caterpillars making their way across the sea lavender and thrift and butterflies feeding on plants in the more sheltered spots. If I get really lucky I have the joy of experiencing a vole run across your path.
This is the perfect time of year to explore our wild isle, and our Summer on the Island event taking place next week is a perfect opportunity for you to experience this wonderful place. The RSPB’s boat ‘October Storm’ will depart Orford Quay at 9am, 10am, 12 noon and 1pm. The guided walks on the island will last 3 hours and you will return to Orford Quay around after 3.5 hours.
Price: 17.50 for adults RSPB members; £22 for all others; 3-17 yearsold pay half adult prices. Places are strictly limited, so advanced booking via Minsmere is essential.
For more information on our full events programme at Havergate Island, visit www.rspb.org.uk/havergateisland.
Photo by Jon Evans
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