• February Update

    I am happy to report that Havergate has escaped the worst of the recent stormy weather with the only downside being me not being able to get out there as often as normal! However, apart from looking a bit windswept, we have had no damage to any of the infrastructure out there.

    Even though we have had to cancel a couple of work party days due to the weather, we are still on track to getting the new hide up and running…

    • 29 Jan 2018
  • A gulp of cormorants...

    I fear we have now reached that time of the year again where we have to huddle in the hides with our flask of coffee and wear 3 layers plus hats, scarfs and gloves. However, it is always worth it as it can be the best time of year to see the stunning wildlife that is out there. 

    We managed a full island count this week just in time for our visitor trip on Saturday to give anyone visiting an idea of what they might see…

    • 30 Nov 2017
  • Update from Havergate

    We were very lucky and had a lovely mild and calm day last week for our weekly work party on Havergate Island. We are making the most of these days as we know it is only going to get colder from now onwards and as you can imagine, it can get very wild out on the island! 

    As you can see from the picture below the team are cracking on removing one of our old huts which was damaged in the 2013 tidal surge. This hut removal…

    • 22 Nov 2017
  • Bygone Years

    Lyndsey is having technical problems this week, so she has asked me to post this for her

    Havergate lays claim to being Suffolk’s only island. It boasts a colourful history which spans centuries and attracts visitors - both avian and human - to its shingle shores each season.

    The island’s association with people goes back about 500 years and throughout that time Havergate has been managed, farmed and shaped by…

    • 10 Oct 2017
  • Isolated, atmospheric and magical

    Here is the last guest blog for this year from our residential volunteer Mike. He, as always, done a fantastic job of looking after the island, keeping an eye on our breeding birds and generally keeping it in top condition for us. Again, thank you for all of your help and support this year Mike- we look forward to seeing you again next year!  

    There is certainly something special about Havergate Island. Isolated, atmospheric…

    • 5 Sep 2017
  • Recently on Havergate....

    So now I can happily say the breeding season is well and truly over on Havergate (it has been for a while but I just haven’t gotten around to writing this until now) and we start looking forward to all the passage waders which have started to turn up in fantastic numbers.

    I will quickly give you a roundup of the breeding successes and failures on the island. The gulls which were on eggs from mid March with the…

    • 29 Aug 2017
  • Havergate Island Adventure memories

     

    Guest blog by Anna John, Learning Intern at Minsmere

    Two weeks ago, I finally took up the chance to visit Havergate Island on the Havergate Adventure.  I went there on a birthday trip, with a couple of friends.  It was great to go somewhere on a boat and see a different selection of birds.  Before starting as the Learning Intern at Minsmere, I was not particularly great at identifying birds.  Now having lived and worked…

    • 24 Aug 2017
  • Summer on the Island

    What a wonderful weekend we had on Havergate with our Summer on the island event. The weather was kind to us and there was so much to see! For a round up of the weekend take a look at Steve’s blog here http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/placestovisit/havergateisland/f/12583/t/195142.aspx  Steve is one of our regular guides and so knows the island really well and enjoys spending time out there showing our visitors everything…

    • 27 Jul 2017
  • A busy and successful season....

    Havergate Island has been closed to visitors these last couple of months but we are now starting to get it ready and presentable – mainly mowing the path and painting the boat – for our trips to start up again towards the end of July.

    So what has been happening out there? Havergate has approx 2000 pairs of breeding gull. To be more precise 1714 Lesser black backs and 529 Herring gulls. These guys all have…

    • 28 Jun 2017
  • Guest Blog - boardwalk, bug houses and painting!

    Our residential volunteer Mike spent his second visit of the year on Havergate last month. As usual, he has written a blog post for us which talks about what he got up to. In this blog he has included how he plans his stay on an island and what food/ essentials he always packs....

    This was my second visit to Havergate Island this year, the first being for a week in March for which I wrote a blog. This time I would be…

    • 7 Jun 2017
  • Saline lagoon invertebrates

    Havergate Island is made up of 6 lagoons – each of which we can control the water level of. Having this control is important because it means we can adjust the water levels depending on the time of year and what birds are using the island. All of the lagoons are saline as we just let the water from the river in to top them up and so they are packed full saline lagoon invertebrates.

    In fact – Havergate Island is…

    • 5 May 2017
  • Havergate Hare Weekend

    Guest Blog - Steve Everett

    It’s Springtime! That means everyone’s thoughts turn to Hares on Havergate. Although the Hares are visible all year round, it always seems logical to have a guided walk event at this time of the year in their honour and the weekend just gone provided the perfect weather for it. Although it was a bit misty and cold inland first thing, on the coast it was sunny and lovely to be out in the fresh…

    • 10 Apr 2017
  • 'A chilly week' by Mike

    We do have a Thursday work party on Havergate with the volunteers currently working hard to build and maintain the current infrastructure on the island.However smaller jobs do get missed which is why it is great to have Mike on the Island. He has a very keen eye in spotting the smaller jobs that often get missed but ultimately make a difference in keeping up to date and the island looking good. Here is his blog of what…

    • 21 Mar 2017
  • Rubbish Day

    A big 'Thank You' to the local RSPB Woodbridge local group who spent a good morning litter picking in the rain on Havergate. You can never really appreciate how much rubbish ends up in the sea and river until you have it all packaged up in front of you. For a small island of only 100ha this was only 1 hour in, and just half of the island covered!

    The local RSPB Woodbridge group after only an hour of collecting…

    • 9 Mar 2017
  • Spoonbill Platforms and River Trips

    We spent a blistering cold day on Havergate last week (26 Jan) with the work party building up the spoonbill platforms which had taken a bit of a battering over the winter with the strong winds. As I have mentioned before it is not easy getting everything we need out to the island but we always find a way to manage! First of all we had to gather and bundle up a load of scrub and transport it to the quay. We then filled…

    • 3 Feb 2017
  • The Great Escape

    With the December 2013 tidal surge still fresh in our minds and having only recently got the island back into good condition you can imagine the worry we were all feeling on Friday night! But I am very happy to report the island come away relatively unscathed, largely it seems, thanks to the change in the wind direction.

    Above is a photo of Havergate taken with the drone from the mainland on Saturday morning. As you…

    • 18 Jan 2017
  • Over to you Steve.....

    It’s always good to hear what other people think of our reserves and to see how they help out. With that in mind, I asked one of our guides for Havergate Island, Steve, to summarise Havergate for me and talk about what it has to offer, and the different trips we are running this year with his help.

    So, carry on reading if you want to find out more...

    Suffolk is a fascinating place to visit an RSPB nature reserve…

    • 11 Jan 2017
  • Happy New Year

    After the hustle and bustle of Christmas and New Year it was good to get out onto the island after 10 days away and make sure everything was OK and to see what was around ready for our visitor trip on Saturday.

    The island was as I had left it before Christmas and teeming with life. 4 spoonbills are still using our lagoons to loaf around and feed on. On all of the lagoons there were plenty of duck from tufted, pintail…

    • 6 Jan 2017
  • Owl-tastic day on Havergate

    I finally managed to get out to the island yesterday after being unable to due to the wind last week. It was a very chilly start but the water was dead calm with not a breath of wind – perfect. Heading past the island on the boat we could see a short eared owl hunting over the sea wall, a Marsh Harrier in the distance and a kestrel sitting atop a post. As soon as we were off the boat and started walking another Short…

    • 30 Nov 2016
  • Winter Wonderland

    Winter is certainly a great time of the year to visit Havergate Island. I returned on Friday to the Island after 2 weeks away due to October Storm being out of the water for her annual inspection and tidy up. It was alive with birds on the lagoons. We managed a count of 508 wigeon, 571 teal, 12 pintail, 143 shoveler, 44 Avocet, 105 Golden Plover, 168 redshank, 275 lapwing, 44 knot, 128 black tailed godwit and ringed plover…

    • 22 Nov 2016
  • President's Award

    Now the secret is out I would like to say a huge congratulations to our very own Peter Merchant. Peter collected his president award over the weekend for the time (29 years!) he has given to the RSPB. The prestigious RSPB presidents award recognises significant volunteer contribution to nature conservation and to the work of the RSPB.
    Collecting his award 
    Peter started volunteering on Havergate Island in 1989…
    • 10 Oct 2016
  • Havergate Adventure 13 - 15 August

    We still have spaces available on our Sunday and Monday trips for the Havergate Adventure this week. All details on how to book can be found below.

    This is the perfect time of year to explore our wild isle, and our special Havergate Adventure, taking place this weekend, will help you get the most out of a visit, whatever your age or interests.  Whether you want to learn more about the island’s wildlife, or just enjoy…

    • 8 Aug 2016
  • Summer on Havergate

    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…

    • 22 Jul 2016
  • Cast away on Havergate

    Although we no longer run in the residential volunteering scheme we are still happy to have a couple of long term volunteers who know the Island well stay out there. Mike was on the island for 3 weeks and below you can read up on what he got up to. 

    Havergate Island blog – July 2016

    This year on the island was my eleventh since first arriving in July 2006 following my first ever residential volunteering trip on Ramsey…

    • 20 Jul 2016