• Early autumn on the reserve

    Hello! We have had an interesting week here at the reserve, thanks in part to an exotic visitor in the moth trap on Sunday night- a big, beautiful, blue clifden nonpareil! It's an odd name which originates from the first British record coming from the Cliveden estate in Berkshire (in the 18th Century) and the French word 'nonpareil' means 'without equal'- a suggestion of how beautiful it is! It drew in crowds earlier…

    • 21 Sep 2019
  • Rare moth found at Lakenheath Fen!

    We've been regularly running the moth trap near the visitor centre, and yesterday we had a rare moth amongst all the more common ones.  The moth of the moment is Clifden Nonpariel, which has a large grey forewing and broad violet blue band across the hindwing.  It is an immigrant moth, probably from eastern Europe or Scandinavia.  Only a handful of these moths reach the UK each year, so we're really chuffed to see one…

    • 17 Sep 2019
  • Signs of change

    Following on from our yellow wagtails and green sandpipers of last week on the washland, we have seen another migrant pass through the reserve this week- our site manager Dave saw three wheatears on 3 September on Joist Fen South, and we are still seeing swallows and house martins in the skies above the reserve, with the odd hobby too. Yesterday a lunchtime walk rewarded me with a hobby, a kestrel and a little egret over…

    • 6 Sep 2019
  • Blog Part 2- Insect life on the reserve

    Aside from yesterday's birds, if you like your insects the reserve won’t disappoint either- we are bursting at the seams with migrant hawker, brown hawker and ruddy darter dragonflies. Common darter, red-eyed damselfly, common blue damselfly and southern hawker are plentiful too. The butterflies taking centre stage at the moment are the late summer specialists- red admirals and painted ladies, both of which are everywhere…

    • 31 Aug 2019
  • Hello everyone! Part 1- Bird life on the reserve

    This is my first blog post and the wildlife has been kind to me in giving me something to write about- what a week it has been for sightings. Some of our star species have been showing well and the reserve is sitting somewhere between late summer and early autumn now, with wildlife and sights from both seasons sharing the days, so it’s an interesting time to visit the reserve. There’s ripe berries and early fungi starting…

    • 30 Aug 2019
  • Migrants on the move

    It's been another quiet week for us here, with not a lot of sightings to report. 

    Keeping ahead of the rain clouds yesterday were small numbers of hirundines, including five swifts and a dozen or so house martins and swallows.  Also overhead were a group of four yellow wagtails.

    On the small wash beside Wilton Bridge (not on the reserve), there have been up to two green sandpipers, and single wood and common sandpipers…

    • 16 Aug 2019
  • Recent sightings 9th August – The calm before the storm!

    With the strong winds forecast for the weekend we’ve been making the most of the nice weather whilst we can, meaning this has been the first opportunity we’ve had to blog for a little while!

    It’s still a little quiet on the bird front, which is usual for this time of year, but we’ve still got plenty of sightings to report….

    A family of kingfishers have been showing off nicely in front of…

    • 9 Aug 2019
  • Big Wild Sleepout postponed until 3 August

    Due to the poor weather forecast for this weekend we've taken the decision to postpone the Big Wild Sleepout this weekend.  We decided that camping in thunderstorms and heavy rain would not be a very good idea!  We have, however, rearranged it for next Saturday 3 August.  We do now have spaces, so if you would like to experience Lakenheath Fen after dark, please contact the reserve direct on 01842 863400, or email lakenheath…

    • 26 Jul 2019
  • Insects galore!

    I'd just like to start by apologising for the lack of blogs since David left.  We are doing what we can, but please bear in mind, we are short staffed, and with lots to do out on the reserve, we just haven't had the time to do more of the blogging side of things.  David's replacement will start in mid August, when hopefully the blogs and recent sightings will be updated a bit more regularly!  Here's what's been…

    • 19 Jul 2019
  • Small and beautiful

    It is always exciting when you get a visit from a species specialist as you never know what new things they may turn up on the reserve.  Last week we had Pete Stron on the site from the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) and he found two rare Breckland plants growing in the lawn in front of the visitor centre.  The first was perennial knawel Scleranthus perennis, a species which likes the dry, sandy acid soils…

    • 14 Jul 2019
  • So it's goodbye from him...

    And hello from us!  With David having left, it will be up to the rest of the team to fill in with recent sightings and blogs posts, but before I go any further, I just want to say a huge thank you to David for his hard work over the last 10 years.  He has contributed massively to the reserves bird list and has done a fantastic job with the blog posts, promoting the reserve and keeping everyone informed, in his own unique…

    • 21 Jun 2019
  • Well it's goodbye from me!

    So, we have come to it at last, my last recent sightings blog post as a member of staff at RSPB Lakenheath Fen! As it's impossible to sum up the last 10 and a half years in just one post, I thought I would just write one more post in my own unique (!) style!

    Although the weather wasn't great on Thursday, I assisted the reserve team with the work party. While we were out and about, two Mediterranean gulls flew…

    • 16 Jun 2019
  • A few pictures and sightings for you

    Good afternoon. Although the weather hasn't been great recently, I will start by sharing some lovely images that have been taken on the reserve recently:

    Bittern:

    Great crested grebe family:

    Blue tailed damselflies

    Image credits: Steve Moore-Vale

    Thank you very much to Steve for sharing these lovely images with us.

    As you can seen from the images above, bitterns have been showing very well recently. This includes…

    • 12 Jun 2019
  • 6 June recent sightings

    Good afternoon. As I am going away for a long weekend, this will be my last recent sightings post until the middle of next week:

    The spare pair of cranes were flying around a lot on Tuesday and here are a couple of pictures of them courtesy of Matt Walton:

    Image credits: Matt Walton

    Although we are not quite sure who they are, Norman, our ex-Site Manager, seems to think that they may be the two juveniles that fledged…

    • 6 Jun 2019
  • 4 June recent sightings

    Good morning. I will begin by sharing some lovely images that have been taken on the reserve over the last couple of days, mainly from Mere Hide:

    Bitterns:

    Presumably the same ringed bird that was present last year:

    Great crested grebes:

    Hobby:

    Image credits: David Gowing. 

    Thank you very much to David for sharing these wonderful images with us.

    As far as we know, our resident nesting cranes are still OK. The spare…

    • 4 Jun 2019
  • A little bit of this and a little bit of that!

    Good morning. There are a variety of things to update you on so without any further ado, I will begin!

    This lovely image of a bittern was photographed from Mere Hide on Thursday:

    Thank you very much to Bob Britton for sharing this image with us!

    I also took a couple of pictures in the sunshine on Friday morning, that I hope you like:

    Image credit: David White

    An otter was seen from the Washland viewpoint on Friday…

    • 2 Jun 2019
  • 31 May recent sightings

    Good morning. So, we have reached the end of May. Doesn't it go quickly every year!

    There have been some interesting sightings over the last couple of days of a variety of wildlife so without any further ado, here we go:

    Our first large skipper butterflies of the year are now on the wing and they can be seen in various places on the reserve.  Local bird ringers Pete and Simon were here on Wednesday and they ringed…

    • 31 May 2019
  • 29 May recent sightings

    Good morning. I will begin by sharing some images that I haven't had an opportunity to share yet:

    Male reed bunting:

    Kingfisher:

    Little egret:

    Image credits: Stephen Reeve

    Thank you very much to Stephen for sharing these images with us. 

    There have been a couple of sightings of two cranes flying over recently. They flew over on Saturday and presumably the same pair were seen from Joist Fen viewpoint yesterday. 

    • 29 May 2019
  • 27 May recent sightings

    Good morning. There has been plenty to see here over the last couple of days so here are some more recent sightings:

    We have recently found out that our crane family are still on track which is a great sign! A single bird was seen in flight over Joist Fen viewpoint on Thursday so if you are lucky, you may see one yourself if you come and visit.

    Our resident bitterns are continuing to show well and I saw one in flight…

    • 27 May 2019
  • 23 May recent sightings

    Good morning. May is marching on at a rapid rate so here are some more images and recent sightings for you:

    I will start off with sharing some more images that have been taken here recently:

    Misty riverbank:

    Common whitethroat:

    Image credits: Scott Grear Hardy

    Great crested grebe:

    Image credit: Matt Walton

    Thank you very much to Scott and Matt for sharing these lovely images with us.

    The view from the high seat overlooking…

    • 23 May 2019
  • Bittern bonanza and a few other great pictures

    Good morning. Well, it's that time of year when bitterns start getting quite visible on the reserve. In honour of that, here are some wonderful pictures of bitterns that have been taken on the reserve during the last week or so:

    Image credits: Les Bunyan

    Image credits: Heather Peeling

    Image credits: Stephen Reeve

    Image credits: Ann Karin Solheim

    All of these images have been taken from Mere Hide. 

    Whilst…

    • 22 May 2019
  • 18 May recent sightings

    Good morning. I will start off by apologising for the lack of updates recently. There has been a lot going on here. 

    Our resident cranes have been very elusive all week and there have been no sign of the extra birds that have been present recently. Bitterns have been showing well though, including a male that has been seen booming in front of Mere Hide on several occasions. I will post some pictures of it when I next blog…

    • 18 May 2019
  • 10 May recent sightings

    Hello there! I will begin by sharing an image of the visitor centre pond that I took once the sun came out on Sunday:

    As the weather hasn't been that great this week, there haven't been many crane sightings and our nesting pair have been mostly keeping their heads down. However, a group of three have been seen over Joist Fen viewpoint this morning. These are likely to be some of the non-breeders that are currently…

    • 10 May 2019
  • 6 May recent sightings

    Good morning. It has been a rather chilly Bank Holiday weekend hasn't it? However, those who have wrapped up warm and braved the conditions have seen plenty. Here are some more recent sightings:

    I led a rather bracing dawn chorus walk yesterday morning and we were treated to excellent views of the extra pair of cranes. They flew into New Fen North, the first area of reedbed at around 06.15. After spending around half…

    • 6 May 2019
  • 3 May recent sightings

    Good afternoon. Well, unfortunately, the weather in May has started with a bang rather than a whimper! Nevertheless, there has still been plenty to see so here are some more sightings:

    There have been several sightings of a group of three cranes over the last couple of days, mostly from Joist Fen viewpoint. As all indications seem to show that our nesting pair are still on track, these are most likely to be extra birds…

    • 3 May 2019