Winter wildlife sightings

A new sightings thread for the winter months. Please tell us about your wildlife encounters at Fen Drayton Lakes, common or rare - not only is it nice to share, it helps fellow visitors know what to look out for and helps us keep a record of the wildlife here from month to month.

There's also now a sightings list in the car park at the information board, where you can write up what you've seen on the reserve, and remember you can also post photos on this website.

Here's what's been written up on the board over November so far:

1/11 60 goldfinches feeding on teasels by car park, 120 golden plovers SE over car park, two Cetti’s warblers singing/calling around Holywell Lake

3/11 male sparrowhawk

5/11 barn owl, starlings, buzzard

6/11 little egret, redshank

7/11 five Egyptian geese over Oxholme Lake, male sparrowhawk

8/11 50 golden plovers, 75+ pochards and a kingfisher at Ferry Lagoon, two Cetti’s warblers and a water rail heard regularly at Oxholme, 10 siskins and 30 fieldfares by bus stop, great crested grebes displaying on Ferry!

10/11 two weasels

11/11 six goldeneyes on Drayton Lagoon

13/11 grey seal in the river near bridge, long-tailed tits, kingfisher south side of Ferry Lagoon, shovelers, pochards, mice, lots of grey herons around Ferry Lagoon

14/11 kingfisher on Ferry Lagoon in willows to right of car park, grey heron, 30 little egrets, goldfinches

16/11 kingfisher in gulley by Swavesey Lake

17/11 male goldeneye on Ferry Lagoon

Alison Nimmo

RSPB Community Engagement Officer, Orkney

  • Slightly belated report from 15/11/13:

    Woodcock (in flight) near Car Park, seen whilst watching the corvid roost at 4pm.

  • In reply to Judith D:


    Wonderful mornings sightings today, one of those absolute "corkers".

    Also FDL makes a great observation site along the entrance road for viewing "Comet Ison" one hour before sunrise, you can also see nearby Saturn and Mercury and another Comet, "Encke".

    PEREGRINE FALCON - new scrape, similar face markings to a Hobby but much bigger and no red under.

    Common Seal - NE ferry lagoon in drain.

    Marsh Harrier - ferry lagoon/holywell lake.








    Green woodpecker.

  • In reply to Steve Dobromylski:


    I was at the reserve this morning at 04.15 waiting to see "Comet Ison" and/or "Comet Encke", no luck because of cloud but I did see Brilliant views of Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn. Also some Wildlife, whoopee!



    Barn Owl x 2,



    Actual location undisclosed because of Badger, "I like them", but Fen Drayton Lakes makes a great astronomy viewing location because of dark skies and low horizons.

    Comet Ison enters the Sun's Coroner on the 28th of November, please do not attempt to observe any Comet or any other object so close to the Sun, it may cause permanent eye damage or blindness without pain.

    If Ison survives the Sun we can watch it safely again later on.

  • In reply to Steve Dobromylski:

    Thanks Judith and Steve for sharing these great sightings.

    More from board in the car park:

    18/11 seven goldeneyes on Moore Lake, several bullfinches along path to hide, chiffchaff in car park north of scrub

    19/11 buzzard

    20/11 sparrowhawk at the bus stop

    23/11 buzzard over the car park, male and females goldeneyes, two redhead smews and one female goosander all on Drayton Lagoon

    27/11 kingfisher on recently fallen tree by Ferry Lagoon, redwings feeding on buckthorn berries

    28/11 kingfisher perched on tree leaning over SW corner of Ferry Lagoon

    Alison Nimmo

    RSPB Community Engagement Officer, Orkney

  • In reply to Alison Nimmo:

    From the Wednesday wildlife wander yesterday, 11/12/13:

    Many small birds in the scrubby area north of car park and along the hedge/tree-lined path from car park to river, brought low and close to us by the thick fog. Goldfinches, blue tits, great tits, long-tailed tits, chaffinches. Fieldfares chuckling all around, green woodpecker and redwings too. Would highly recommend a wander along this stretch if we get more foggy conditions soon - it was absolutely magical.

    Later, Egyptian geese flying over to Moore Lake, male and female shovelers on Drayton Lagoon, pochard and female goldeneye on Elney Lake.

    Alison Nimmo

    RSPB Community Engagement Officer, Orkney

  • In reply to Alison Nimmo:

    14/12/13 velvet scoter on Drayton Lagoon, asleep near the island, seen about 11 am

    Alison Nimmo

    RSPB Community Engagement Officer, Orkney

  • In reply to Alison Nimmo:

    Didn't see the Velvet Scoter!  However, here are my other sightings from 14/12/13:

    1st Winter Glaucous Gull (Ferry Lagoon, present at 9.20am)

    Ruddy Duck (Moore Lake)

    Goldeneye x 5 (Drayton Lagoon & Moore Lake)

    Chiffchaff x 2 (scrub near Oxholme Lake/footpath to Coucher hide)

    Bullfinch x 7 (various sites)

    Redwing & Fieldfare (numerous across reserve)

    Goldfinch x 100+

    Red-legged Partridge (entrance road)

    Interesting to note the large number of Blackbird across the reserve - presumably swollen by continental migrants!

  • In reply to Judith D:

    The velvet scoter was showing very well, on Drayton Lagoon, between 2pm & 3pm.

    A real bonus was a fly-over common crossbill, which flew east along the Busway, calling as it went.

    Also, at least 6 siskins in the alders on the northern side of Elney Lake.

    Andy Cotton

  • In reply to AndyC:


    2 Ravens - Southern shore, Drayton Lagoon.

  • In reply to Steve Dobromylski:


    Bearded Reedlings x 2 Males, in rushes to right from Elney North viewpoint.

    Wigeon c.800 on Ferry Lagoon.

    Shoveler c.200 on Drayton Lagoon.

    Goldeneye, Drayton Lagoon.

    Field Mice x 6