Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Autumn Watch at Sandscale Haws

Ok so we don’t have wild beavers or pine martens but the change in the season is still pretty exciting here at Sandscale.  The wading bird numbers are definitely on the increase with flocks of knot, dunlin, redshank and sanderling being regularly recorded.  The size of our duck population has significantly increased too with the usual teal and shoveler taking residence on our wet meadow area.  A massive flock of about 70 whooper swans were also seen flying low over the reserve on the 29th Sept.
The lack of sunshine and the influx of yet more rain has seen our water levels on site rise to such an extent that there are parts of the reserve that even Neil (Ranger supervisor) hasn’t seen flooded before.  This has meant that many of our snipe which can usually be flushed out with a walk through the tall grass has not been there to flush, as many of their feeding ground is just too wet.
With the strong winds we’ve been experiencing, the tides have been pushed further up the beach and produced some dramatic erosion on the frontal dune ridge exposing a shingle bed.
Now is the time if you are looking at starting a shell collection or ticking off another “50 things” activity (finding treasure on a beach), there’s nothing more invigorating than a stroll along the sand on a crisp, cool morning with the wind in your face looking at what the sea has been churning up!

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