On a very blustery Christmas eve, a report came in of three kite surfers travelling westwards down the Fleet, continuing to travel around the bays at Moonfleet and Langton Herring. All of the birds that the surfers passed were disturbed and displaced, including the highly protected Brent Geese, seen in the image below flying away from the threat.
Due to their large size and fast manoeuvrability, large kites such as this can have instant and major disturbance implications on any birds that are in the vicinity. Therefore, activities such as this are highly discouraged and are thankfully few and far between. After verbal instruction was given to the surfers, all three immediately headed back to the eastern end of the reserve, however at the cost of disturbing all birds on their route back.
The main worry for the reserve is that if incidents such as this continue and become more frequent, the birds will simply get ‘fed up’ and may not return to these sites as a wintering ground or even a breeding ground, due to the potential threat of constantly being disturbed and having to waste valuable energy in evading the problem.
We can only hope that an incident to this scale is a very rare occurrence.