Bittern – Males stopped booming a fortnight ago but feeding flights are still ongoing. Patience may be rewarded with a view of a bird flying in to the margins of the open water on Cuckoo Fen, or taking off from said margins having caught fish. Scanning reed margins is always worth a go as these masters of camouflage can occasionally be quite conspicuous.
Marsh harriers – Unfortunately both Cuckoo Fen nests have failed although adults still fly over fairly regularly. The pair on Cuckoo Fen North are still bringing food in to the nest and can be seen well from the reedbed trail on the western side of the reedbed. Adult birds are using ever-wider hunting territories as the chicks mature, so there’s a reasonable chance of seeing one anywhere on the site now.
Hobby – up to four over Cuckoo Fen and Cuckoo Fen north at any one time.
Bearded tits – Small groups of adults and juveniles are frequently working the reeds inside the perimeter canal. Listen out for a flurry of ‘ping’ flight calls as you amble alongside the canal on the reedbed trail; stay put once you hear them and with any luck the birds will give good close views as they move along the vegetation looking for insects.
Cuckoo - ‘Cuckoo’ and bubbling calls heard frequently at Needingworth and the reedbed in the past month
Turtle dove – one pair confirmed at Needingworth so far. The Barleycroft trail around the Hanson compound was a good area prior to the amenity grass cut; Telegraph wires here and at Barleycroft still a good bet.
Common tern – nine pairs on one of the Barleycroft islands so far. Settled later this year but it’s looking much more promising than last year.
Lesser whitethroat – in scrub just off the reedbed trail on western side of the reedbed.