Good morning. There has been plenty to hear and see here recently so here are some more recent sightings.
Our resident pair of cranes are busy with nesting at the moment but another pair is still in the area. The two "extras" have been seen in flight north of the river this morning.
There are still at least eight booming male bitterns and I have heard at least two on my morning walk this morning. They are also being seen in flight fairly regularly from Joist Fen viewpoint.
Bearded tits have been showing well recently in the recent sunny weather, especially on the approach to Mere Hide. The local marsh harriers have also been busy sky dancing high overhead.
Good numbers of summer migrant bird species have been arriving on the reserve recently. Our first hobby was seen on Monday and our first cuckoo was heard this morning. There was also a noticeable arrival of grasshopper warblers this morning, with at least four males reeling on the reserve.
Up to four garganeys have been feeding in New Fen South recently. This is the newly cut area between Mere Hide and Joist Fen viewpoint. Three common terns flew along the river last Saturday and a rather early garden warbler was singing in front of the visitor centre this morning.
There was some excitement yesterday when Administrator Suzanne found a wheatear feeding on the path around the Brandon Fen family trail. I did get some rubbish photographs of it, which I am too ashamed to share here! Katherine, one of our Wardens, also heard a nightingale in sub song near the reserve entrance.
Although the water levels on the pool in front of the Washland viewpoint are still very low, there have been a few waders up there. This includes two ringed plovers and four little ringed plovers. A curlew and a whimbrel passed through on Tuesday. A great white egret has also been seen regularly near the viewpoint and the best place to see kingfishers at the moment is along the riverbank.
Stoats are being seen regularly along the hard track alongside Trial Wood and two muntjac deer were feeding on the entrance track earlier on today. The reserve butterfly list is also building up nicely, with species like speckled woods, holly blues and orange tips all starting to appear.
Local photographer Matt Walton was here yesterday and took this lovely picture of an elusive Cetti's warbler:
Image credit: Matt Walton
If you are planning to visit the reserve, please note that there are now cattle grazing on the riverbank Public Footpath.
We hope to see you soon!
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