A very mixed week of weather so far, with a very hot and sunny bank holiday weekend followed by a wet and comparatively cool week.
The highlight species from the past few weeks include a pectoral sandpiper, which has been present at Buckenham Marshes since Saturday morning and is still present at the time of writing (30/08). This is a rare species for the reserve, having travelled from either America or eastern Siberia, however they do turn up almost annually, there are currently at least five in Norfolk. (The image to the right is one of my own from Buckenham in 2015)
Another more expected species for the time of the year is osprey, there is currently at least one bird hanging around in the Mid Yare Valley, commuting between Buckenham, Strumpshaw and Rockland. At this time of the year birds heading south tend to stop off at locations where the fishing is good, they are in less of a rush to get back to Africa than they are when heading north in spring. Hopefully we should see ospreys continuing to pass through until the end of September.
Two spotted flycatchers were seen in the woodland on Sunday, these are quite possible the pair which bred nearby.
The more usual species found at the fen have been showing well on occasion, with kingfishers seemingly everywhere, bittern sightings have been quite frequent recently, bearded tits are beginning to gather in larger groups, but not yet in large numbers from sandy wall, that should happen in mid-September. Marsh harriers are still to be found in numbers, please report all tagged individuals to reception so we can keep track of who is about.
Buckenham has been very good for waders throughout the week, as well as the pectoral sandpiper, dunlin, black-tailed godwit, ruff, little stint, common snipe, avocet, green sandpiper and common sandpiper have all been seen in variable numbers. The pool at the end of the track has been particularly productive this year, thanks to the recent rainfall keeping it nice and wet. Hopefully the passage waders will continue to show well there for the next few weeks, so hopefully we will see more scarce species using it before autumn is through.
Willow emerald damselflies are very easy to find this year, they seem to have spread to just about all suitable habitat across the reserve and are peaking at the moment too, so as long as we have some sun there is an excellent chance of seeing them. Migrant hawkers are taking over the sky once again, while the more curious southern hawkers can be found along the woodland edges.
The reserve is fully open, and in good condition, although the meadow trail is partially open due to removal of hay bales, this should be finished by the weekend.