Monday, 21 January 2013

Recent conditions on site

Work on site has been pretty impossible at the moment.  The reserve is under more water than has ever been seen in Neil's (Ranger supervisor) time here at Sandscale.  The only way to get about is on foot and with wellies on and it's tough going, having to break the ice.
We have however put in a new stile and dog gate at the southern end of the reserve. 
New stile and dog gate

We were having to fix the fence on a regular basis where people were cutting it to get through.  New signs have been erected at that end too welcoming people and giving some information about illegal use of our track there.  We experienced a slight incident last week where we had three motorcyclist using the track to access the dunes for some off road practise.  Fortunately we caught up with them and were able to advise them that  the area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature reserve and the law behind those designations. They left the area even phoning the police afterwards to apologise...a good result.

We spent an afternoon with our student volunteer Vicky, just before Christmas surveying the erosion on the frontal dune ridge where it is exposed to the wind and the sea. 
It was during this surveying that we caught sight of a single Snow bunting.  These are large-ish buntings which breed in around the Arctic areas like Scandinavia and Greenland, although they make their way to our coastal areas during winter months.  It was great to see and a brilliant record for the reserve.
Also that day we saw a couple of Stonechat which are becoming far and few between for our records. 
During our volunteer work party on the 19th December we were lucky enough to experience 19 Whooper swans flying low right over us, a beautiful sight and a reward for all the hard work the Volunteers were putting in.  The Short-eared owl is always a welcome visitor and we see the signs of them more than we see them but the 21st Dec was one such sighting....great stuff!

We love hearing from you and what you have seen on the reserve.  If you have any records or photos please email them to me at or leave a comment below.

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