Thursday, 21 May 2015

Nesting Birds on Holkham Beach

It is the season when birds of all shapes and sizes from the magnificent Red Kites to the smallest Treecreeper are beginning to build nests and lay eggs. While Holkham National Nature Reserve provides ideal habitat and protection for these birds some need even more help. Oystercatchers, Ringed Plovers and Terns all nest on the beach where they are very vulnerable to disturbance and high tides. While many visitors come to the reserve to enjoy the breath taking expanse of beach and picnic, walk the dog, ride their horse or explore the coastline care must be taken to avoid disturbing these birds at this important time.

Oystercatchers make a shallow scrap in the sand and 
shingle in which to lay their eggs.

For many species Holkham offers one of the few unspoilt habitats left in the UK for these birds to breed. To protect them, the Holkham warden team search for nests and set up large enclosures around the nesting birds as any disturbance may cause the birds to abandon their eggs.

Birds which nest on the shingle often have very well
 camouflaged eggs. It is very easy to accidentally crush them.

You can easily help by keeping your dog under effective control during the bird breeding season (1st March – 31st July) and from stopping your dog(s) from entering any of the enclosed areas.

Jonathan Holt
Holkham Warden