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.

Most of our female marsh harriers have been busy with nesting behaviour recently so we are mainly seeing males at the moment. However, here is a lovely image of a female type bird that was taken on Monday:

The recent sunny and still weather has meant good news for the local bearded tits. They have been showing well between Mere Hide and Joist Fen viewpoint so listen out for their distinctive pinging calls. 

There have been some impressive counts of hobbys this week, including a count of at least 66 feeding over Joist Fen viewpoint on Sunday. Here is a lovely image of one from Monday:

Although most of our grasshopper warblers have stopped singing for the time being, this one was photographed on Monday:

Whilst on the subject of warblers, here are a couple more pictures from Monday:

Sedge warbler:

Common whitethroat:

Image credits: Wendy Cooper

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

Several cuckoos are still present and garganeys have been showing well. This includes two males near Mere Hide and a pair in front of the Washland viewpoint. At least 12 ringed plovers and a couple of dunlins are also present from the same viewpoint. 

We have been treated to several visits from black terns over the last week. Seven were feeding in front of Joist Fen viewpoint on Friday 10 May, two were feeding from the Washland viewpoint on Thursday and three were seen from the same viewpoint yesterday. A red kite also flew over on Thursday, which was nice to see and several great white egrets are still present. 

An otter was seen feeding in front of the Washland viewpoint on Thursday and stoats have been seen several times alongside Trials Wood during the last week. At least one common lizard has been basking on the boardwalk on the approach to Mere Hide and several damselflies were on the wing on Tuesday evening. This included several variable damselflies and our first blue tailed damselflies of the year.

If you are planning to visit the reserve, please note that there are cattle grazing on the riverbank Public Footpath.

We hope to see you soon!