• Waders, butterflies, hobbies and a dragonfly - 24 April 2022

    Hello and welcome to the latest blog- and there is an awful lot to mention! We have nearly all of our Spring migrants back now, and the arrival dates are below:

    Avocet

    8 February

    Dunlin*

    9 March

    Bittern (booming)

    13 March

    Garganey

    19 March

    Ruff*

    21 March

    Black-tailed godwit*

    23 March

    Sand martin*

    6 April

    Swallow

    7 April

    Sedge warbler

    8 April

    Willow warbler

    11…

    • 24 Apr 2022
  • Wildlife sightings and news from the reserve - 31 March 2022

    Hello and welcome to the latest round-up from the team here at Lakenheath Fen- we have been spoilt for sightings lately, especially on the Washland with a wealth of ducks up there, including up to 56 avocet, 2 garganey, 4 shelduck, 3 ruff, 109 black-tailed godwits and a little egret, all on 30 March. Black-tailed godwit numbers have reached as high as 300, and we believe that at least one of them had a coloured leg-ring…

    • 31 Mar 2022
  • The first days of Spring at Lakenheath Fen - 16 March 2022

    I think we can call this the first blog of Spring 2022, given that we have now had a couple of migrant birds in and a few insects on the wing too. Our first record this year of chiffchaff came on 7 January but since the beginning of March, they have been heard singing and spotted by visitors almost every day, during spells of warm weather. As with blackcap, it is impossible to know if these 'early birds' are genuine migrants…

    • 16 Mar 2022
  • Longer days and singing birds- February so far

    Hello and welcome to the latest blog from our little piece of Fenland. We have been gifted with some really beautiful days here in February so far- we've had lots of sunshine but some cold starts to those sunny days! And the past couple of days have seen plenty of wind, which the marsh harriers love- at least eight were in the air across the reserve yesterday when Dave, Luke and myself went out on a drive through…

    • 17 Feb 2022
  • A round-up of our latest sightings - 28 January 2022

    Wildlife Sightings

    Hello and welcome to the latest blog from RSPB Lakenheath Fen. The first month of the year has produced some fantastic sightings and in total our bird list for 2022 now sits at 78 species, thanks most recently to a red kite yesterday (27 January) and recent highlights of corn bunting, Bewick's swan, barn owl, woodcock and mistle thrush. A wintering chiffchaff singing on 7 January also helped! Below…

    • 28 Jan 2022
  • Welcome to 2022 - Our sightings so far!

    Hello and welcome to the first blog of 2022! We have had some very mixed weather- New Years Day was sunny, mild and very pseudo-Spring, but since then each day has got a little colder and today we arrived at work in -4c conditions! However there was a beautiful sparkly frost adorning every surface and there was plenty of activity on the balcony bird feeders as they filled up after a cold night- long-tailed tits joined…

    • 7 Jan 2022
  • Winter wildlife at RSPB Lakenheath Fen - 27 November 2021

    As I write this I can see a great spotted woodpecker using the bird feeders at the Visitor Centre- he is enjoying the suet-filled coconut shells and the peanuts there. He represents a bit of a change in the variety of birds that have been using the feeders recently- now we are at the beginning of winter, reed buntings and marsh tits are making use of the feeders and there is a small flock of around thirty siskin that…

    • 27 Nov 2021
  • The latest from RSPB Lakenheath Fen - 6 November 2021

    This week on the reserve has seen huge fluctuations in the weather- November started very cold and with a frost on Monday night (1 November) and yet yesterday was a glorious day- still chilly but very sunny and bright and this encouraged out a few hardy butterflies (mainly peacocks) and quite a few common darter dragonflies. Our visitors, including those on our morning guided walk, really enjoyed seeing them as it won…

    • 6 Nov 2021
  • Redwings, whoopers and barn owls - the latest from Lakenheath Fen (20 October 2021).

    Wildlife sightings from the past week

    Hello and welcome to the latest blog- last time I was writing one of these, we were somewhere between the seasons- we still had hobbies here and plenty of dragonflies, but the days were shortening and the temperatures dropping. In the middle of October, we well and truly have lost our summer migrants now, with the last hobbies seen at the start of the month. Hobbies tend to hang around…

    • 20 Oct 2021
  • Summer's end and Autumn's arrival - 24 September 2021

    Hello to all and welcome to our latest blog. I was treated (for work reasons) to a lovely long walk down to the furthest reaches of the reserve- Botany Bay- and back on Wednesday so this has certainly helped me to get a handle on what's about and what to include in this week's blog! The reason for my jaunt was to finish off our Signage Audit- a piece of work that involves photographing, measuring, describing and mapping…

    • 24 Sep 2021
  • A whistlestop tour of our sightings this week - 3 September 2021

    Hello to all and welcome to a short-but-sweet blog. I'm running a bit short on time to write a full blog this week but without wanting potential visitors to miss out on the latest sightings from the reserve, below is what we have seen so far in the past week. We are now onto the third day of autumn and a couple of cloudy days begun the month but today we have had glorious sunshine, bringing out the butterflies and dragonflies…

    • 3 Sep 2021
  • The latest from RSPB Lakenheath Fen - 18 August 2021

    Hello and welcome to the latest blog- I am sorry I haven't written one for a few weeks but in the lead-up to our Big Wild Sleepout, things were a bit manic and I didn't have the time to sit down and write one. The Sleepout was a big success with our families enjoying a chance to get out on the reserve in a family-friendly setting, to spend a night camping here and listening to the sounds of the night. There was a lovely…

    • 18 Aug 2021
  • Lakenheath Fen's Big Wild Sleepout (14-15 August 2021) - What to expect...

    Hello and welcome to a blog written especially for those attending this years Big Wild Sleepout! Below is an itinerary for what we have planned for the evening and the morning following the Sleepout. It should be a fantastic event and there is always a lovely family-friendly atmosphere with lots of opportunities to get close to wildlife, get active and learn about nature.

    Itinerary:

    On the Saturday (14 August):

    • At 5p…
    • 6 Aug 2021
  • Dazzling Dragonflies and Beautiful Butterflies - 15 July 2021

    Hello and welcome to the latest blog. We are now well into the throes of summer and this is reflected in the insects you can see on the reserve at the moment- the most common butterflies are meadow browns, ringlets and large whites, with plenty of small and large skippers on the viper's bugloss flowers when the sun is out. Small heath and red admiral are also common species at the moment, and we should soon begin…

    • 15 Jul 2021
  • An update from RSPB Lakenheath Fen - 25 June 2021

    Hello and welcome to this week's blog. We've had a variable week in terms of weather, but on the warmer days we have been seeing plenty of dragonflies and butterflies. Bitterns in flight are one of the current highlights as females fly short distances across the reedbeds to find food to feed their youngsters. While they don't 'boom' like the males, they will sometimes make a grunting sound as they fly- have a…

    • 25 Jun 2021
  • All the news from Lakenheath Fen- 13 June 2021

    Hello and welcome to this weeks' blog. We have had some very warm weather over the past few days which has brought out the first common blue butterflies and the first red-eyed damselflies of 2021. The damselflies were a species I spotted from the Dragonfly Platform on 9 June, during a lunchtime walk where although I thought it would be a little early for them, I was heading that way anyway to repair some signage so…

    • 13 Jun 2021
  • All the news from RSPB Lakenheath Fen - 2 June 2021

    Hello and welcome to this weeks' blog. Things really warmed up at the weekend and this hot, sunny weather has really boosted butterfly and dragonfly numbers on the reserve. A walk at the moment in weather like this should reward you with hairy dragonfly, four-spotted chaser, azure damselfly, red-eyed damselfly (especially from the dragonfly platform) and common blue damselfly. We have also had reports of banded d…

    • 2 Jun 2021
  • The week so far - 21 May 2021

    Hello and welcome to our latest blog. We have had a wet and windy week here and haven't seen the sun much since Tuesday (18 May), but the hobbies have been putting on a stoic performance for visitors nonetheless. On wet days we haven't seen so many, but not a day goes by without a few on the wing. Our peak numbers are now between 50-60 on an ideal day, and visitors are also still hearing the occasional booming …

    • 21 May 2021
  • Events at RSPB Lakenheath Fen - Spring and Summer 2021

    Many of our visitors have been asking us when we will be hosting our guided walks again and we have now proudly put together an events programme for the next couple of months. Below are the details, with links to our booking website Eventbrite:

    Thursday 27 May and Saturday 26 June: Get to Know Your Butterflies (11:00 to 13:00)

     will be a guided walk of approximately two miles, taking in various butterfly hotspots along…

    • 20 May 2021
  • Planning a visit this weekend? What to look out for - 7 May 2021

    Hello and welcome to the latest blog. I thought i'd give a brief round-up of the sightings from this past week, for the benefit of visitors who might be paying us a visit over the weekend and into next week...

    We've had some changeable (!) weather but a mild, sunny day (if a little breezy at times) tempted a large red damselfly out of the raised pond bed in front of the Visitor Centre, and during the process of…

    • 7 May 2021
  • All the latest from Lakenheath Fen - 1 May 2021

    Hello and welcome to our latest blog… my apologies for it being several weeks since our last one- this is by no means a reflection of the quietness of our wildlife or lack of sightings but more a result of me taking a couple of weeks leave! It is lovely to be back and to plunge into a reserve absolutely BURSTING with spring sightings, so without further delay…

    One of the most conspicuous of our summer residents…

    • 1 May 2021
  • A week full of spring migrants - 11 April 2021

    Hello, and welcome to this weeks' blog. The migrant birds have continued to roll in, and I was greeted by two singing whitethroats when I arrived this morning. One was reported yesterday, along with a singing reed warbler (though this is unconfirmed). Yesterday (10 April) also brought a report of a wheatear but no further sign of the single cuckoo and hobby reported last week. The reedbeds are filling up with sin…

    • 11 Apr 2021
  • News from this week- Friday 2 April 2021

    Hello to all and welcome to our latest blog. The past few days have been packed with sightings, including our first willow warblers (31 March) and plenty of chiffchaffs adding spice to the dawn chorus, and a flock of 120+ sand martins overhead at the Visitor Centre yesterday (1 April); this follows on from a single bird spotted on 27 March and another fifty or so spending most of today hunting for insects over the Washland…

    • 2 Apr 2021
  • Easter Spring Spotter Sheet

    Below (at the bottom of this blog) is a downloadable (and printable) PDF file for our spring-themed Easter spotter sheet which we encourage families to bring with them for a walk around Brandon Fen this Easter weekend. Our Brandon Fen trail is especially suited to finding the wildlife on the sheet, although you could take in more of the reserve's trails if you like, to see what else you can spot!

    If you aren't able…

    • 2 Apr 2021
  • The latest from the reserve- 19 March 2021

    Highlights from the reserve this week include a drake garganey, who can currently be seen most days feeding at various points along the river north of East Wood. He seems to be without a female but is loitering with gadwall, mallard and coots. The garganey was first seen on 15 March, which is quite an early record for us but they are quite discreet in their behaviour, subtle in their plumage (especially females or from…

    • 19 Mar 2021