Visitor causes a flutter of excitement

There was great excitement this week when the Hauxley Bird Ringing Group caught an Arctic warbler on Northumberland Wildlife Trust's Hauxley Nature Reserve. There are only about five records in the UK each year!
Arctic warbler - Tim Mason

Arctic warbler. Image by: Tim Mason.

Arctic warblers breed in the far north of Fenoscandia and northern Asia. It is widely believed that the birds that reach Britain will most likely have bred in eastern Russia before migrating to South East Asia in the autumn - so this one is well off course!

The ringers, led by Brian Galloway, visit the Hauxley reserve every spring and autumn and are part of The Constant Effort Sites Scheme, the first national standardised ringing programme that is supported by a partnership between the British Trust for Ornithology and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.

The reserve, situated on Druridge Bay, is famous for its birds so staff and volunteers are now watching the skies for the arrival of yellow browed warblers, redwing, fieldfare and red poll and keeping their fingers crossed for waxwings touching down.

Jenna Berry, Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Hauxley Visitor Experience Assistant said: “This is a great time of year for birds touching down on the reserve and recharging their batteries for their onward journey.

We are eagerly awaiting the annual arrival of thousands of pink-footed geese which are well worth seeing. They are an amazing sight, especially when they all head to the lake, which is right outside the window of our Lookout Café, for a bath and a feed.”