Good morning. Now that the weather has finally settled down, there has been plenty to see on the reserve recently.
On Sunday, at least 80 whooper swans were feeding north of the river and a red kite flew over Joist Fen viewpoint. Although unfortunately, we didn’t see any barn owls on our barn owl walk, we did see a few other things. A marsh harrier was hunting near New Fen viewpoint and a bittern made a brief flight just north of the viewpoint. At least three roe deer were skulking in East Wood and seven curlews were showing well from the Washland viewpoint.
Yesterday morning, two green woodpeckers were calling near the visitor centre and two shelducks were feeding on the riverbank. Three roe deer were feeding in the grazing marsh in Brandon Fen and a lapwing was displaying over the Washland viewpoint. In terms of waders, here are the peak counts from the viewpoint over the course of the day:
A redpoll was feeding in the alders behind the visitor centre and a skylark was singing in the distance. Two red legged partridges were feeding near the Fen pools and I took this picture over the washland in the morning sunshine:
Image credit: David White
As the day went on, a bittern was seen from Joist Fen viewpoint and two cranes were seen from the train just beyond the viewpoint. Several marsh harriers were also indulging in their aerobatic skydancing display flights overhead.
At least one brambling was feeding in the alders behind the visitor centre first thing this morning and a green woodpecker was perched up in front of the visitor centre. Two roe deer were feeding on the riverbank just west of the Washland viewpoint and a water pipit flew up as I walked along the riverbank.
When I got to New Fen viewpoint, a pair of great crested grebes were keeping me entertained as one of them was trying to swallow a rather large fish. Unfortunately, for the grebe, it eventually ended up back in the water! A little grebe was calling nearby and a marsh tit was singing behind the viewpoint. Just before I got back to the visitor centre, I spotted a great spotted woodpecker feeding in the crack willow near the visitor centre. It is always nice to see two species of woodpeckers before work!
If you are planning the reserve, please note that the path alongside West Wood is currently very wet. You will need wellies to negotiate it at present. Parts of the riverbank Public Footpath are also muddy, so walking boots are recommended for using this path at present. The rest of the reserve paths are currently OK.
Also, just in case you haven’t heard, we will be increasing the entrance charge for non-members of the RSPB on 1 April 2019. Please read here for more information.
We hope to see you on the reserve soon!
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