Havergate Island

Havergate Island

Havergate Island
Welcome to the Havergate community group. Havergate is a magical place, Suffolk’s only island! The reserve is nestled within the Alde & Ore estuary and is well known for its year round bird spectacle.

Havergate Island

  • It is wildlife after all….

    Wow, what a busy weekend! Our Havergate Hare weekend is always our most popular trip, and the one trip that gets me worried! Are the Hares going to be in their favourite spot? Are the hares going to be active? Are we even going see ANY Hares?!?!

    Well, they didn’t let us down. On Saturday we had up to 4 Hare’s at any one time happily chasing each other up and down the banks and posing amongst the gorse. Sunday, well Sunday was a bit harder as they had obviously decided it was a bit too cold to run around, but everybody left the island having seen one – even if it was only snoozing in the long grass.

    It isn’t just about the Hares though, and our wonderful guides do try and show all our visitors the other wildlife that can be found on Havergate. Unfortunately, because I am running the boat I didn’t get the chance to take any photos, however, take a look here and you will find some smashing photos taken by one of our guides https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/community/placestovisit/havergateisland/f/12583/t/196585.aspx

    He obviously shows the Hares at their best, but he also got some great shots of some of the other wildlife that was seen.

    Our Havergate Hare weekend is more aimed at people wanting to learn a bit more about the Hares, Havergate and seeing them in their natural habitat. But, if you are a bit more serious about ‘getting that perfect Hare/wildlife shot’ then why not book onto our ‘capturing first light on Havergate’ photography event? We only have 2 more spaces up for grabs. This event is unguided and gives you the chance to be on the island when the hares are most active early in the morning. For more information take a look here https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/events-dates-and-inspiration/events/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-344590

    Basically, we have arranged a special trip for you to spend an exclusive morning on Suffolk’s only island so you can capture those once in a lifetime shots of Havergate’s unique and diverse scenery and the wildlife that live on it in the early morning light.

    This trip is perfect for you if you are a keen photographer, giving you the opportunity to spend an early morning on Havergate and capture amazing photographs of its wildlife when it is at its most active. Along with the waders feeding on the lagoons, you might even be lucky enough to witness the Barn Owls hunting along the sea walls. As the sun rises over the island, the islands smaller inhabitants, such as butterflies will become more active, feeding on the array of coastal wild flowers. With some luck and field craft, you may even get up close and personal with one of the island's famous wild brown hares.

    Of course, on any of our trips we can’t guarantee what you will see on the day but hey, that’s the whole challenge of it, and it is wildlife after all.

  • A Great and Varied February

    February has been a crazy month for Havergate, and i'll go into whats been happening on the island throughout February a little further down. Firstly, I wanted to mention our brilliant Havergate Hare trips which are almost fully booked for March. We still have a couple of spaces available for Saturday 24th at 1pm, Sunday 25th at noon and 1pm. If you cant get booked onto this trip for March, don't worry as there are still plenty of spaces available for the April Hare trips.

    We also still have spaces on our March Wildlife River Trip. This trip takes you around the island before landing and taking you out for a look out onto the lagoons.

    To book, or for more information on any of our Havergate events, click here.

    Work party

    February has been a varied month for Havergate Island. On the days we have been able to get out with the work party we have been cracking on with the construction of the hide. It is looking fantastic, and when finished, will offer views overlooking Cottage Flood, Belpers and also Orford.

    High tides

    On Thursday 15th Feb we experienced incredibly high spring tides. Probably some of the highest I have seen since working out here (and actually being on the island at the right time). It looked incredible as half of the island disappeared!

    Snowy days

    I was very keen to get over to Havergate during the snowy week, so I wrapped up warm and braved the journey over. The island looked very serene and it was very quiet with not much activity, apart from the birds huddled up on the lagoons and feeding on the open water. The island was covered in Hare footprints which was brilliant to see.

    Hares and other wildlife.

    The hares have been very active since the beginning of February, on calm and warmer days I quite often see them chasing through the gorse and up over the banks. I have a couple of trail cameras set up around to keep an eye on any predators getting over, but I am more likely to capture the hares and other wildlife mooching about.

    February was a great month for waterfowl, with great numbers of wigeon, gadwell, teal, shoveler and pintail. On the full island count, we had 210 avocet, 20 ringed plover, 10 grey plover, 300 dunlin, 10 blacktailed and 3 bartailed godwit, 169 redshank, marsh harrier and ring tailed hen harrier.

    All in all, a great and varied February on the Island.  With extreme weather and big tides, I think the island is getting ready for Spring, which we all hope, is just around the corner.

  • Trips and Events

    We had a fantastic day on our ‘Explore Havergate Island’ trip last Saturday. Amazingly it was a lovely calm day in between a few blustery days.

    The Hares were the most active I have seen them in a while – obviously gearing up for our upcoming Hare Events in March and April. We had at least 6 of the little chaps running in and around the gorsy area and were very accommodating to our visitors letting them get some great photos. Unfortunately my photo is not great – I only had my phone in my pocket.  

    We also had 2 beautiful barn owls putting on a show hunting along the seawalls and around the lagoons. All this in addition to a great array of waders and ducks on our lagoons.

    All of our upcoming events are now on the website for you to book onto.

    Explore Havergate Island – the first Saturday of every month (except May/June/ July). This is an unguided trip and a full day on the island.

    Hare Events Weekends – 24/25 March and 14/15 April. These trips are guided and offer you the chance to spend a few hours learning a bit more about Havergate, having a look out onto some of its lagoons and of course, having a look for some hares! You will have knowledgeable guides with you who I am sure could tell you all you need to know about them.

    Wildlife River Trips – We are running one wildlife river trip a month from March until September. On this trip you can enjoy a relaxed boat ride around Havergate finally stopping on Havergate for a brief (approx. 40 mins) stop looking out onto the lagoons up the North end of the island. Depending on the time of year you choose to go we would hope to see an array of wildlife and if we are lucky, the beginnings of a lovely sunset on the way back to the quay.

    Capturing First Light on Havergate – This is the first year we are running this event. It is a more exclusive chance to get out onto Havergate early and capture it waking up as the sun rises. We will take you over to the island as soon as it starts getting light, so you will be able to see its wildlife when it is most active. We will return you to the quay soon after 1pm. This is a self guided morning but experienced wildlife photographer guides will be present if needed to help you get those perfect shots.

    All of our events are now listed on our website rspb.org.uk/havergateisland.