Good morning. I will start off where I left off with some sightings from Tuesday afternoon. Suzanne walked around Brandon Fen at lunchtime and saw a buzzard overhead. She also saw two kestrels and two red legged partridges.

Meanwhile, from the Washland viewpoint, four ringed plovers and two little ringed plovers were showing well. At least one water pipit was also feeding nearby.

On Wednesday, Photographer Norman T took these lovely images of great crested grebes:

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

Suzanne and I did our first Common Bird Census (CBC) of the year around Brandon Fen yesterday morning. When I got in at 6am, two curlews flew south over the visitor centre. On the way round, we saw a Muntjac deer and heard a tawny owl calling in East Wood.

Meanwhile, further down the reserve, two bitterns were seen perched up between Mere Hide and Joist Fen viewpoint. There was also lots of crane activity and up to six individuals were seen over the course of the day. Two were even seen circling over the visitor centre at one point which was a bit of a treat for us office dwellers!

As the morning went on, a pair of garganeys were seen on the river and several bearded tits were seen on the approach to Mere Hide. Warden Katherine also saw 29 common snipe near Mere Hide.

There was plenty to see from the Washland viewpoint over the course of the day including:

Local birder Steve was here early this morning and he found a tree sparrow feeding near the crack willow close to the visitor centre. Surprisingly, this is the first record of this species on the reserve which is rather exciting!

He saw two ringed plovers and an avocet from the Washland viewpoint. He saw and heard a bittern in New Fen  North, the first area of reedbed. Additionally, he saw a great white egret from Joist Fen viewpoint and a field vole alongside Trial Wood.

I walked down to Joist Fen viewpoint before work and took a few pictures while I was out and about in the morning sunshine:

 

Image credit: David White

I heard a yellowhammer singing north of West Wood which is a good record for here and saw a smart male marsh harrier near Joist Fen viewpoint. I also saw a female sparrowhawk over New Fen viewpoint.

It is a lovely day out on the reserve and a brimstone butterfly has been on the wing over the visitor centre lawn. A blackcap was also in sub song in the staff car park.

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. 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!

 

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