Good morning. I will begin by sharing some lovely images that have been taken on the reserve recently:
Great crested grebes:
Image credits: Stephen Reeve
Hairy dragonfly emerging out of raised plant bed:
Image credits: Scott Grear Hardy
Thank you very much to Stephen and Scott for sharing these wonderful pictures with us.
It has been a relatively quiet week for the cranes and the nesting pair have been keeping their heads down over the last couple of days. The extra pair were heard calling north of the river on Monday, so it is good to know that they are still around.
There were at least nine booming male bitterns early on Tuesday morning. I spent two hours down at New Fen viewpoint that morning and saw at least six bittern flights while I was there. This is unusually busy for New Fen viewpoint, so it was great to witness so much activity.
At least three male marsh harriers have been busy sky dancing acrobatically this week. Good numbers of females are also present. Bearded tits have been showing well near Mere Hide, especially on sunny and still days.
The newly cut area, which is between Mere Hide and Joist Fen viewpoint, has been rather good recently. The garganeys have been in there recently and up to four have been seen in there this week (two males and two females). Local birder Steve found a jack snipe in there on Sunday which is a very good record for here. It was still present on Monday morning. although it was rather elusive. A great white egret was also feeding in there this morning.
There are at least 13 hobbys present and Joist Fen viewpoint is definitely the best place to see them at the moment. At least four male cuckoos are also present and they are being seen regularly around the poplar woods. Reeling grasshopper warblers have now been heard in 10 different locations on the reserve, which is a great count for here. Please ask in the visitor centre for the most up to date information on where to find them.
There was still a slight flavour of winter on Tuesday with eight fieldfares and a brambling heading north over the reserve. Returning to spring passage, several yellow wagtails have passed through this week and at least two Arctic terns passed through early this morning. Three common terns have also been seen regularly along the river this week so hopefully they will stick around.
Local birder Steve was lucky enough to see an otter on the riverbank on Sunday. There was an intriguing record of a male adder in Brandon Fen on that day and there were good numbers of damselflies on the wing. This included good numbers of large red damselflies and a couple of common blue damselflies. A green hairstreak butterfly was seen at the edge of the car park on Monday and a stoat has been seen on the hard track alongside Trial Wood several times this week.
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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