We have now entered May and bird migration has stepped up a notch. The reserve is crawling with birds, with the hedgerows in particular being rammed full of migratory songsters. A short walk around Ferry lagoon gives you the opportunity to hear up to ten different species of warbler including reed warbler, sedge warbler, chiffchaff, garden warbler and blackcap. The level of noise in the mornings is quite spectacular as the males sing to claim territories and attract a mate, meaning an early morning walk is a rather noisy affair.
Chiffchaff - Photo credit Luke Wake
On Sunday 29th April a strong easterly wind graced the reserve with its presence, bringing with it a whole host of new arrivals to Fen Drayton Lakes. The most obvious of these visitors was a flock of approximately 30 black terns which could be seen feeding above Ferry lagoon. These striking terns are an almost annual visitor to the lakes and turn up in late April on the back of strong winds from the east. These strong winds, mixed with a little bit of rain also have the effect of bringing migratory waders to the reserve. These waders are mostly long distance migrants and require places such as the lakes to take a pit stop and re-fuel before continuing on their journey to breeding grounds such as the high arctic. Species stopping off at the reserve included knot, wood sandpiper, grey plover, sanderling and many more. Moreover, during 2017 twenty-two species of wader have been spotted at the lakes, showing just what an important re-fueling point the reserve is.
Sanderling - Photo credit Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
On Friday 5th May there was a noticeable increase of swifts and hobbies hawking around above the lakes, catching insects and feeding upon them in flight. However, the reserve was also graced with a special visitor, a female red-footed falcon. The bird was seen near the car park as it scurried around on the ground catching insects. She remained until at least the Sunday evening and delighted onlookers as she whizzed through the air in search of insect prey to fuel her on the next part of her journey.
Red-footed falcon at RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes - Photo credit Jeremy Lindsell
The reserve is currently buzzing with life and there is always something to see. So why not plan a trip and head down to enjoy the wildlife of RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes.