Friday, 26 June 2015

Spring roundup



It’s been a pretty good year so far for the Natterjack toads with us recording 468 spawn strings across the site. They were a couple of weeks late this year due to the cold spring that we had but they bounced back with the first spawn string being found on the 7th April and the last found on the 8th June. The Tadpoles are growing fast with a minimum estimate of about 50 000 across the site. The first Natterjack toadlets of the year were recorded last Thursday (18th June) down at the shore pools. They’re amazingly cute!

Natterjack toad toadlets

The Coralroot Orchids have also had a great year with the total number of spikes being recorded this year at 1817! This is the second highest number ever recorded on site since records began in the 1980’s. They we’re found in six dune slacks across the site with 2 of these having none recorded in them for the past 6 years. 


Coralroot orchid


We've just started carrying out surveys for other orchids on site and so far we've recorded Common spotted, Early Marsh, Northern Marsh, Bee and a few Helleborines but it's still a bit early for us to know exactly which ones.


Common Spotted orchid
Common Spotted orchid




















Bee orchid
Early Marsh orchid



















All the volunteers got their camera's out for the orchid surveys

Other highlights include a single Moonwort that was found in a dune slack during a Coralroot Orchid count. This rare fern is mainly found in Scotland, Wales, North and West England and is still declining. It hadn’t been seen at Sandscale Haws for over a decade until May of this year!



Common Blue butterfly


We also held a two day Bioblitz event at the beginning of June and received records of plants, birds, invertebrates, bats and fungi. A big thank you to everyone who came along and to the various organisations that helped to run the event. We are currently sorting through the records and inputting them on to irecord.


Reed Bunting nest & eggs


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