Good morning. Suddenly, it is feeling really rather autumnal on the reserve. The sightings from the last couple of days have reflected that, so without any further ado, here they are:
I went up to the Washland viewpoint mid-afternoon on Thursday and counted at least 350 lapwings in the afternoon sunshine. There were also three redshanks feeding in a typically energetic fashion nearby.
It was really rather foggy first thing yesterday morning so the visibility was pretty poor for my early morning walk around the reserve. Despite the visibility, there were plenty of birds on the move. Good numbers of redwings were calling overhead and at least one redpoll flew south over East Wood. A small group of bramblings were feeding in East Wood and a little egret was feeding in the gloom in front of New Fen Viewpoint.
As I walked back through the reserve, a treecreeper was singing in East Wood and several song thrushes flew over. A kingfisher also made a brief appearance at the edge of the visitor centre pond.
Once the fog had lifted, two grey wagtails were feeding at the edge of the visitor centre pond and a common buzzard was soaring over the visitor centre. Volunteer Pete went up to the Washland viewpoint shortly after lunch. He saw a male wigeon and 62 teals. He was also pretty sure that he could hear some whooper swans calling nearby.
Meanwhile, further down the reserve, a bittern was seen in flight from Joist Fen viewpoint. One kingfisher was seen from New Fen Viewpoint and another was seen along the riverbank. At least one stonechat also seen in the same area.
This morning, at least three goldcrests were feeding at the edge of the car park. I took a couple of pictures of Brandon Fen looking rather autumnal:
Image credits: David White
A redpoll and a yellowhammer flew south over the grazing marsh. A skylark was singing its beautiful song high over the washland. A water pipit flew up near the Washland viewpoint and a couple of waders were present in front of the viewpoint. This included around a dozen lapwings, a redshank and dunlin in winter plumage.
Shortly after we opened up the visitor centre, a green woodpecker was feeding on the lawn and a kingfisher made a brief appearance at the edge of the pond. Two grey wagtails were also feeding on the floating vegetation on the pond.
We hope to see you soon!
Good morning. Now that our Race for Wildlife is over for another year, things are starting to get back to some semblance of normality on the reserve! Although it is a relatively quiet time of year on the reserve, here are some sightings from the last week:
Last Thursday, Warden Emma and volunteer Darren saw five great white egrets near Joist Fen viewpoint. They also saw a bittern in the same area. Meanwhile, closer to the visitor centre, Warden Katherine saw a hobby over the fen pools which is a late record for here.
On Saturday, three great white egrets were seen near Joist Fen viewpoint. A bittern was also seen in flight over the far end of the reserve.
Emma and I were in before it got light on Sunday morning in order to start setting up for the Race for Wildlife. A muntjac deer was skulking at the edge of the entrance track as we drove in.
I walked around the 5k route just to check all of the signs were still in place shortly after first light. On the way round, I saw a barn owl hunting near Joist Fen viewpoint and a female sparrowhawk over New Fen North, the first area of reedbed.
Unfortunately, by the time the race started at 11am, it had been raining for some time. I back-marked the 10k and despite the soggy conditions, I saw at least two great white egrets in flight on the way round.
On Tuesday, Katherine saw a great white egret feeding in New Fen North triangle. This is the area of reedbed on the north side of the main track between Mere Hide and Joist Fen viewpoint.
It was really rather foggy when I got here this morning and here is the "view" across the visitor centre pond:
By the time Suzanne had a walk around Brandon Fen, it had brightened up slightly. She saw a muntjac deer and heard a goldcrest calling in front of the visitor centre.
This was the view over the visitor centre pond shortly after we opened up:
..And for the sake of completeness, here is the view over the visitor centre pond mid-morning:
A redshank was calling on the washland and several bearded tits have been seen near Joist Fen viewpoint. A skylark and a linnet have also flown over the visitor centre over the course of the morning.
We hope to see you soon.
Good morning. Now that the reserve team have had a bit of time to catch their breath, here are some photographs from our Race for Wildlife on Sunday 14 October:
Image credits: Dave Rogers
I hope you like these and more will follow later on in the week.
Thank you again to everyone who took part. Despite the soggy weather, it was a great event. Thank you also to the team here for their assistance with making the event a success.