Good morning. The reserve is really starting to come alive now so it’s time for some more recent sightings:

On Friday, a bittern was seen from Joist Fen viewpoint and a kingfisher was seen from Mere Hide. A curlew was also calling on the washland.

There was plenty to see from the Washland viewpoint on Saturday and here are some of the highlights:

Local birder Steve also saw a male mandarin duck on the river. This species really isn’t very regular here and there have been less than five records of this species on the reserve recently.

Two cranes were seen from Joist Fen viewpoint and at least eight marsh harriers were hunting over the viewpoint. Volunteer Harriet and I also saw a female sparrowhawk over Brandon Fen.

Good numbers of toads were calling on the washland and a peacock butterfly was on the wing alongside West Wood. A drinker moth caterpillar was also feeding on the visitor centre veranda.

Suzanne and Darren went for a walk around the reserve on Sunday morning. They saw a willow warbler at the edge of New Fen North, the first area of reedbed and two bitterns from Joist Fen viewpoint.

As the day went on, a rough legged buzzard was reported over the car park. This may well be the same bird that has been seen at nearby Weeting Heath recently. Our first drake garganey of the year was also seen between Mere Hide and Joist Fen viewpoint.

We had our first early morning (starting at 5am!) co-ordinated bittern listen this morning. At least four males were heard and individuals were seen at various places over the reserve. Two cranes were also seen over the far end of the reserve.

I came down a bit later and spent some time with volunteer Karen at New Fen viewpoint. I took this picture of the tranquil scene in front of us:

Image credit: David White

Massive respect to Warden Emma and volunteers Karen, Kim and Caroline for coming in at 5am to do the survey! If you would like to come and take part yourself, we will be doing surveys starting at 5.30am on each Tuesday in April. Please click here for more information.

As the day has gone on, an otter was seen on the riverbank and good numbers of marsh harriers were seen skydancing over the far end of the reserve. A marsh tit has also been showing well on the reserve.

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.

A selection of road closures may affect your journey to and from the reserve over the next couple of weeks. Please click here for more information.

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 soon!