Well that was a roller coaster of a day. Started off with a very good garden ringing session, had a middle section of hassle from the general public and ended with an awesome wildlife experience.
With some decent weather, we were finally able to get out and start out annual dune tiger beetle surveying. Warm, sunny and calm days have been in very short supply this summer but it was well worth the wait. Dune tiger beetles are very restricted in their range with East Anglia being one of their strongholds. Being a creature of the strandline and dunes they are very prone to habitat loss following periods of stormy weather. With a fairly calm winter, the dune habitat is looking really good.
We only had time to survey half the beach but can up with some fantastic figures. Surveying is done by slowly walking along the dune edge counting any individuals. Out previous highest count (158 in 2012) was smashed with 265 wee beasties counted!!!
But that wasn't the only highlight...
After seeing to the call of nature in the dunes I sat down to wait for Georgie and Neil to catch me up so I didn't disturb and beetles when I noticed a bird flying by. I raised my bins to see a STONE CURLEW flying over the beach!!! I jumped up and started to shout to the other two as the bird dropped onto the beach further out. The guys go onto it but it again flew, this time closer towards the sea and dropped down again. The haze was so bad that we couldn't actually see it. A radio message went back to the visitor centre but we couldn't relocate again.
It was a notable bird for me as the last one (in 2004) spent the day on the brackish marsh and although it was reported throughout the day, nobody thought to tell the workers. This was made even worse as we had been on the brackish marsh all day and didn't know it was there!!!!! Its is only the 5th reserve record and my 268 species for the reserve.
Time for a beer me thinks