• Bye!

    Just a short (and final!) blog as this is my last day as Visitor Experience Officer and I will be handing over all things blogging and events to our wardening teams. Thanks to everyone who helped at, or attended, one of our many events this year. We've had a busy, successful summer and I've had a great time working for the RSPB. Keep an eye on our website for upcoming events at both Fen Drayton Lakes and Ouse Fen!…

    • 4 Nov 2016
  • Starling murmurations: an update

    Still not a lot to report at the moment - small flocks are starting to gather and appear to be roosting in the Elney reedbed, visible from the Elney viewpoint. However, they are going straight to roost with no murmurations. We will keep you posted when things start to happen. It has been fairly mild so far and this might be having an effect. 

    If you have any updates, please let us know!

    • 25 Oct 2016
  • Starling mumurations

    We've been receiving a few enquiries about this years starling murmurations - not a lot is happening at the moment. The roost will build throughout October and will peak in November. Keep an eye out on the blog and Facebook/Twitter  - we will let you know when the roost is established. 

    • 12 Oct 2016
  • A first for Fen Drayton Lakes!

    This weekend the first female Nathusius’ pipistrelle ever caught in Cambridgeshire was caught at RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes.

    The Nathusius’ pipistrelle (Pipistrellus nathusii) is a migratory bat species found at areas of open water throughout the UK. This small species is found from Western Europe to Asia but, to date, there are only around 1200 records in Great Britain and Ireland. It is not yet known whether…

    • 4 Oct 2016
  • Autumn at Fen Drayton Lakes

    Autumn is here! While for some the countdown is on to the start of spring (174 days, if you are interested!), I absolutely love this time of year. My jumpers are unpacked and  l can't wait for the colourful and crisp walks that this season brings. 

    Autumn is a great time at the reserve as well. Leaves are starting to turn all shades of yellows, oranges and reds and the hedgerows are covered in berries - what better…

    • 26 Sep 2016
  • Meet the Assistant Warden!

    Luke is probably a familiar sight to many regular visitors to the reserve, even if you don't know his name. Just last week a visitor asked me  what the name was of the chap with curly hair who always wore a bandanna! I decided it would be a good idea (much to the dismay of the wardens!) for us to find out a bit more about them and their wardening ways!

    First up is Luke Wake, our Assistant Warden since November last…

    • 8 Sep 2016
  • Moth night success

    Last Friday saw our moth trapping event at Fen Drayton Lakes. When I arrived at the office at 3pm to grey skies and rain, I was very concerned that the night would be a total washout! Luckily for us, the skies cleared and we had a pretty successful night. After a slow start we managed to trap 21 moths and 11 different species:

    Green Carpet (3)
    Setacious hebrew character (3)
    Burnished brass
    Gothic (5)
    Orange swift
    Stout d…

    • 6 Sep 2016
  • Earthworks at Fen Drayton Lakes

    A very exciting project is happening at Fen Drayton Lakes! Work is currently underway to deliver improvements to the wildlife habitat as part of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership Scheme, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The work, which is one of the biggest projects to happen on the reserve in several years, will be a major boost to the fortunes of some of our key wildlife species. Earthworks contractors, Miles…

    • 17 Aug 2016
  • Lake Dipping every Tuesday

    We are experiencing some website difficulties and lake dipping events are not showing up - however, we are running lake dipping events every Tuesday during school holidays. 

    The events run between 10 am - 4 pm. We will provide all equipment - to guarantee equipment availability, please book an arrival slot by email fendraytonlakes@rspb.org.uk

    • 8 Aug 2016
  • Why did the caterpillar cross the road?

    A caterpillar mystery has been solved! At the beginning of July, volunteer Neville discovered a mysterious caterpillar crossing the busway track. Unable to identify it, he contacted the Royal Entomological Society who identified the caterpillar as an emperor moth caterpillar, Saturnia pavonia. 


    The the UK's only native silk moth, it is widespread, although not especially common. The moths are very large - the females…

    • 4 Aug 2016
  • Marsh harrier fledglings at Fen Drayton Lakes!

    For the first time in nearly 8 years, marsh harriers have successfully bred at Fen Drayton Lakes. After months of watching with baited breath, two fledglings were spotted on Thursday.

    The marsh harriers have also been very considerate in their choice of breeding site – the fledglings can be seen from our new welcome shelter, look across Holywell Lake. Currently the fledglings are spending a lot of time in the trees at…

    • 27 Jul 2016
  • One El'u'ver Story

    Eels are fascinating – and slippery – subjects. When lake dipping with a beaver group last week we discovered an elver.

    This was the first eel I had ever seen and so I decided to find out more!

    Firstly, eels have a fascinating life cycle. The story starts in the Sargasso Sea (interestingly the only sea in the world with no coastline, defined entirely by ocean currents), halfway between Bermuda and the…

    • 21 Jul 2016
  • Butterflies by the bucket load

    What amazing weather we have had this weekend! And it isn't just me that has been appreciating the sunshine - Fen Drayton Lakes is bustling with butterflies! There are 56 different species in Britain and Ireland but there are 250,000 species around the world. They are found in nearly all terrestrial habitats  and are indicators of a healthy environment and ecosystem. 

    On the Wednesday Wander last week we saw nine species…

    • 18 Jul 2016
  • You won't bee-lieve it...

    Fans of orchids will bee (!) pleased to hear that a bee orchid is in flower at Fen Drayton Lakes. 

    Bee Orchid (Andy Hay, rspb-images)

    Whilst the bee orchid is relatively common in the UK, it is nevertheless a fascinating plant and well worth going to see. The bee orchid (Ophrys apifera) is one of nature’s great mimics; the flower has evolved with the single purpose of attracting amorous male bees. Perched within the…

    • 1 Jul 2016
  • 1st St. Mary's Over Beaver Scouts

    Last week, the 1st St. Mary's Over Beaver Scouts visited Fen Drayton Lakes for a lake dipping session. Read on to find out what they discovered in the lake!

     

    Max - Aged 7

    The landscape at Fen Drayton Lakes is very green and very pretty. We had a look around and a little walk and then we collected our nets and went to a wooden platform for pond dipping. This was next to a lake. The weather was kind of cloudy, windy…

    • 27 Jun 2016
  • Treecreeper

    This gorgeous picture of a treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) was taken at Fen Drayton Lakes last weekend. This small, active bird is a resident in the UK.

    Thanks to Jackie for sending it to us!

    • 21 Jun 2016
  • Sightings - 10th June

    Sightings map for Fen Drayton Lakes kindly produced by Luke.

    Of particular interest this week - turtle doves, great white egret and painted lady.

    • 12 Jun 2016
  • The ins and outs of willow weaving....

    Weave some magic at RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes nature reserve

    For people looking to try something different this summer, RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes is hosting a willow weaving workshop on their lakeside reserve.

    This workshop, run by RSPB volunteer Alan Morris, is the perfect introduction to the addictive craft of willow weaving. At the reserve, willow is cut routinely during the winter and Alan decided to see if some of the…

    • 25 May 2016
  • International Dawn Chorus Day at Fen Drayton Lakes

    The saying 'the early bird catches the worm' was definitely true on our dawn chorus walk yesterday.

    As soon as I drove onto the reserve and saw the mist over the river and the sky turning from black to pink and orange, I decided the 3am alarm was definitely worthwhile! As I arrived in the car park I was greeted by a nightingale singing away, which kindly continued as everyone arrived - what a welcome!

    We started…

    • 4 May 2016
  • Halloween ... Spiders, Bats & Owls

    Halloween is here! This festival has ancient pagan origins. In ancient times passed it marked the start of winter, and a time to bring sheep and cattle onto winter grazing pastures. For people living without electric lights, central heating and other modern comforts, the start of winter was the beginning of difficult times ahead.

    They believed that at this time of year the souls of those departed had a closer link with…

    • 3 Nov 2015
  • Badgers caught on night cameras on the reserve!

    Look what our night camera found! Often the night camera finds nothing other than repeated shots of the same tree.  Or worse, blurry pictures of nothing at all. It’s hard to gauge where to position the camera. We know the reserve is home to a range of mammals; otters, badgers, weasels, deer and other species all live here. However, we know very little of their night time activities, plans, paths and routes.

    Image…

    • 21 Oct 2015
  • Starling Murmuration

    This beautiful mesmerising display is called a murmuration. Watching the birds moving in unison as one dark shape-shifting cloud is fascinating. For centuries it has filled people with wonder and curiosity. How and why do Starlings do this?

    Image credit: Roger Skillin

    How do the birds move simultaneously en masse, and not collide with each other? Humans sometimes move on mass, notably at rush hour in cities. Although…

    • 14 Oct 2015
  • Herons

    This morning’s commute revealed the dark silhouette of a great grey heron visible through the early morning mists. It’s lovely to see Britain’s tallest bird flying on broad wing beats in the ‘big sky’ of the open fenland landscape.

    These iconic birds of the wetland landscape are survivors when much of the fenland landscape is changed beyond recognition. At times it’s hard to comprehend the…

    • 29 Sep 2015
  • Blackberries

    During autumn the wildlife around us is very busy. On the ground hedgehogs are fattening up before hibernation. In the skies swallows are eating as many insects as they can before starting their long journey to South Africa. Whilst in the trees squirrels are gathering and storing as many nuts as they can.

    And they are not alone. As last weekend RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes had several human visitors’ busy picking blackberries…

    • 15 Sep 2015
  • September

    September is a beautiful month. Containing the lingering warmth of late summer with the start of autumn. The ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;...’ according to the poet John Keats. 

    September sees most swallows migrate south for the warmth of African skies. I always enjoy seeing them gather together to start preparing for their long journey, although it’s slightly…

    • 2 Sep 2015