Happy Easter to you all! I hope you are enjoying the lovely weather that we are having at the moment.

Our nesting pair of cranes are still fine and the extra pair have been very busy over the last couple of days. They were seen displaying on the riverbank from Joist Fen viewpoint on Friday afternoon and they flew the whole length of the reserve yesterday. They were even circling over the visitor centre for a while, which was lovely to see!

Our bitterns are booming well in the warm sunshine. There are at least eight boomers in total and at least four can be heard from the visitor part of the reserve. We are doing another survey early on Tuesday morning so hopefully, there will be plenty to hear.

Dave our Site Manager found a feeding flock of bearded tits yesterday near Mere Hide. Here is one of his pictures of a smart adult male:

The local marsh harriers are still busy sky dancing and Dave got these lovely pictures of them yesterday:

I had a fantastic view of two male garganeys in New Fen South this morning. This is the newly cut area between Mere Hide and Joist Fen viewpoint. At least five different grasshopper warblers were singing and two cuckoos were calling in the poplar woods.

Up to five hobbys have been seen hunting for insects over Joist Fen viewpoint. A couple of common terns have been seen fishing along the river and at least two great white egrets are still present. 

I saw a roe deer in Trial Wood yesterday morning and a smooth newt was feeding in the raised pond bed in front of the visitor centre on Friday. I also saw a grass snake swimming across the visitor centre pond yesterday afternoon.  Our first large red damselfly of the year was seen at the far end of the reserve on Friday and what appears to be a male hairy dragonfly is currently in the process of emerging from the raised pond bed in front of the visitor centre. 

Site Manager Dave took a couple more pictures yesterday and here they are:

Greylag geese:

Great crested grebe:

Image credits: Dave Rogers

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

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!