Blakeney Point Nature Reserve

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Can I introduce Iain Wolf of the National Trust with some background on the location for Richard Taylor-Jones seal diaries.

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Blakeney Point, part of Blakeney National Nature Reserve, is a truly special place anytime of the year and in the winter months there is plenty of wildlife to see in this wild landscape cared for by the National Trust. Richard Taylor-Jones and his team spent a very special two weeks surrounded by some of the most distinctive wildlife Blakeney Point has on its shores, the grey seal colony.

However there’s also plenty of varied bird life at Blakeney Point at this time of year including English Partridges in the dunes, Snow Buntings moving within the suaeda and along the shingle ridge, and large gulls on the shoreline, mostly Great Black-backed Gulls, that feed on both the afterbirths left by a newly born pup and the carcasses of pups that have perished.  The more impressive raptors including Hen and Marsh Harriers, Short-eared Owls, Merlins and Peregrine can be found hunting the sand dunes and saltmarsh for prey.

There are plenty of Hares darting amongst the dunes and thousands of wildfowl that spend the winter here notably Brent Geese feeding in Blakeney Harbour and skeins of Pink-footed Geese.  Some years the Point, as it’s affectionately known hosts one of England’s only wintering flocks of Shore Larks.

The wider reserve and surrounding coastline supports an abundant array of wildlife from thousands of wintering geese, Pinks and Brents, wintering raptors including Barn Owls that are commonly seen during the day and the elusive Otter or two.

In the summer months the Point is host to another wildlife spectacle, at least 30% of the UK Sandwich Tern population arrives in early March, in addition to a smaller colony of Little, Common and Arctic terns; the arrival is symbolised by their screeching orchestra of sound that can be heard from afar and their graceful flight that is interspersed with them darting heard first into the sea for their food.

The best way to get close to the nature and see the wildlife, especially the seals, is by enjoying a trip on one of the local ferry boat trips.   These boat trips will take you to the hub of the seal and tern colony on the end of Blakeney Point; where you can gain amazing views of the seal colony, relaxing in their natural habitat and in a way that avoids any disturbance to the environment and the colony.

Blakeney Point is truly an amazing place anytime of the year and if you would like to find out more please visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blakeney/   

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