Winter is my favorite time of year when it comes to Havergate Island. It is cold, windy, isolated and absolutely stunning! Winter is the time I see the short eared owls hunting over the saltmarsh and the marsh harriers gliding along the seawall. Barn owls, kestrels, Hen harrier and peregrines have also been regularly seen.
The volunteer work party are still working hard, we are preparing to extend our hide at the North end of the island to accommodate more people looking out onto North Lagoon, and we have also been working on the accommodation huts and generally tidying up the area. I have a never ending list of things to do on the island and with all this wind we have had recently I have added replace felt roofing on the huts to it!
Winter is a fairly quiet time of year on Havergate with minimal habitat work. We opened up the sluices and let the lagoons fill up to cover most of the islands. Doing this kills off a lot of the vegetation on the islands and makes them more favorable for nesting birds come spring and also makes the lagoons as a whole more favorable for wildfowl. On our last full island count we had over 400 wigeon, 67 Pintail, 700 Teal, 70 Gadwall and 163 Shoveler. I also had up to 6 Goldeneye last month on our small lagoon cottage flood.
Doveys lagoon looking full Jan 2016
Unfortunately due to the wind we have had to cancel 3 of our visitor trips (Nov, Dec and Jan) but I did manage to get a group onto the island for our wildfowl event on the 23rd Jan. We all had a great afternoon despite the fog rolling in over the island making it impossible to see out of the hides. Thankfully it had cleared within half an hour just in time for the boat trip back to Orford Quay.
To see dates and information about our trips please see www.rspb.org.uk/havergateisland. All booking information can be found here or call Minsmere on 01728 648 281 for more details.
Havergate Island Hare Trip Saturday 19th.
Well at last I have got to Havergate island and have seen the Hares. A big THANK YOU to all the guides and volunteers for all their help and information. As a bonus we also saw a great numbers of fantastic birds including a Spoonbill and a Marsh Harrier. I will definitely be returning to Havergate and recommend it to all.
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