Trip reports

Visit to Fowlmere Nature Reserve

Visit to Fowlmere Nature Reserve
Linnet - Val Buckett

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Magnificent Seven - and the Fab Four.

Fowlmere is always special for me,

The ultimate lbj's are warblers, and Fowlmere is a good place for them, so a good place to practice one's identification skills. The magnificent seven didn't; let us down. Firstly, there was Garden Warbler and Blackcap, distinctive to see, harder to pick out by their songs. No matter how often I listen to a cd in the comfort and quiet of my lounge, in the field it is so much more difficult. The same goes for Sedge and Reed Warblers, distinctive in appearance, harder in sound,unless you hear the two together. Hardest of all are Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff; songs are diagnostic, but how many of us can tell them apart visually, unless we see them together, not far away and the light is pure? And how often do we get a good view of a Cetti's warbler? That little brown job that dashes from dense cover, where we have just heard a Cetti's singing, into more dense cover where we then hear it again, can we be sure that what we saw was a Cetti's?

It's always good to see raptors, not just for the magnificence of their flight but because as top predators they are proof of the health of the environment. Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Buzzard and Hobby were all in evidence, the last two in numbers up to five.

The other two stalwarts of Fowlmere, Turtle Dove and Cuckoo, were heard but not seen, unless you arrived early or stayed late.

All together a rewarding morning at a delightful reserve

Peter White

Birds seen- Blackbird, Blackcap, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting, Buzzard, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Carrion Crow, Cuckoo, Dunnock, Canada Goose, Grey Lag Goose, Little Grebe, Lesser Black Backed Gull ,Hobby, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Linnet, Magpie, Mallard, House Martin, Moorhen, Pheasant, Robin, Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Swallow, Swift, Blue Tit, Geat Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Treecreeper, Pied Wagtail, Cetti's Warbler, Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Wren,