• 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.


    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
  • Migrant bird first arrival dates 2021

    First migrant bird arrival dates 2018-2021


    Average arrival date



    2020 (COVID)


    Booming bittern

    03 March




    02 March


    20 April

    15 April

    19 April

    03 May


    Garden warbler

    30 April

    01 May

    19 April

    30 May



    25 March

    29 March

    09 March

    23 March

    15 March

    Grasshopper warbler

    10 April

    18 April

    08 March

    17 May



    • 17 Mar 2021
  • The week in words and pictures- 13 March 2021

    Hello to all and welcome to this weeks' blog. Spring is well underway here and changes are happening everywhere- hawthorn is coming into leaf and blackthorn into blossom, whilst great tits, song thrushes and robins have been making themselves heard. Corvids are carrying nesting material over our heads and the first flowers of field speedwell and red dead-nettle are springing up. Our buzzard pair seem to be settled…

    • 13 Mar 2021
  • The latest from the Fen- 5 March 2021

    Hello and welcome to the latest blog. We've had a good week for wildlife sightings here on the reserve and we have noticed a definite shift towards Spring and the behaviour and drama that goes with it for our wildlife. On Tuesday (3 March) we held our first bittern survey of the year, where we gather a few willing volunteers and stake ourselves out at different points across the reserve, between 06:30 and 09:30, to…

    • 5 Mar 2021
  • What's been going on at the Fen? 19 February 2021

    Firstly, please accept an apology from me for not writing a blog last week- things have been a bit frantic at the reserve as we try to finish up several jobs to make things a bit more enjoyable for visitors when they return to us in the Spring (hopefully!). This week, with a lot of help from our Site Manager Dave, we built and installed the second of two new bird feeder trays in front of the balcony at the Visitor Centre…

    • 19 Feb 2021
  • News from nature - 3 February 2021

    Hello and welcome to this weeks' blog. How did you get on with the Big Garden Birdwatch? While all the results from everyone who took part are still to come in, it seems to be that in 2021 there was a record turnout, both in people who registered to take part and those that got out a pen and paper on the day- registration is always a little lower as for some people the survey is an impromptu but attractive opportunity…

    • 3 Feb 2021
  • News from the Fen - 15 January 2021

    Hello and welcome to this weeks’ blog. The annual Big Garden Birdwatch is fast approaching (29-31 January) and for many wildlife enthusiasts and their families it will represent a small piece of normality- something to do which doesn’t need to be affected by Coronavirus and it’s far-reaching effects on our lives. For those of our visitors not familiar with the survey, if you have a garden or a green space viewable from…

    • 15 Jan 2021
  • Happy New Year from the team at RSPB Lakenheath Fen!

    At the start of a new year we are building up sightings very quickly, with bearded tits making an appearance on 2 January, when our Site Manager Dave saw a small party of six near the Photography Station. This follows hot on the heels of an elegant and beautiful male hen harrier and eight cranes seen in the evening of New Years’ Day by Dave’s predecessor, Norman Sills, from Joist Fen Viewpoint. Yesterday evening (7 January…

    • 8 Jan 2021
  • What to look out for over Christmas - 20 December 2020

    Hello to one and all and welcome to the last blog of 2020- today is the last day the Visitor Centre will be open for a while, but every day over the Christmas and New Year period the visitor car park, all of the trails and Mere Hide will remain open for your enjoyment. Below is a list of what will be open and when between now and the New Year:

    21-23 December: Visitor Centre CLOSED, Accessible Toilet OPEN

    24 December -…

    • 20 Dec 2020
  • Digging, hammering, building and excavating... and wildlife sightings too! 11 December 2020

    Well as I write today's blog I can see that the feeders in front of the Visitor Centre are a hive of activity, with a non-stop stream of visiting birds, the commonest of which are blue tits and great tits but two male greenfinch, plenty of coal tits, a couple of marsh tit and a few reed bunting are visiting regularly too. In the cold snap of last week we had a regular male brambling, but he seems only to visit when…

    • 11 Dec 2020
  • Cranes and more... 28 November 2020

    Hello to all and welcome to this weeks' blog. While we haven't seen our cranes much lately- just a sighting every two or three days, last Sunday (22 November) we had five here and they were showing well from Joist Fen viewpoint, looking south west. It is likely to have been our 2020 family (pair A2 and their chick) and another pair, which may or may not have been our other pair- there was lots of bugling going…

    • 28 Nov 2020