Good morning. It has been a rather chilly Bank Holiday weekend hasn't it? However, those who have wrapped up warm and braved the conditions have seen plenty. Here are some more recent sightings:

I led a rather bracing dawn chorus walk yesterday morning and we were treated to excellent views of the extra pair of cranes. They flew into New Fen North, the first area of reedbed at around 06.15. After spending around half an hour in there, they flew over Joist Fen viewpoint, over our breeding pair (who bugled in protest!) before disappearing out of sight to the west. 

There are still up to 11 booming male bitterns on site and they are best heard in the morning and evenings. Site Manager Dave took a group of students from the Cambridge University Zoology department on Saturday. Despite the fact that they got both rained on and hailed on, they saw at least four bittern flights from Joist Fen viewpoint. I was also sent this photograph of an adult and a juvenile bittern that were taken from Mere Hide yesterday:

The local marsh harriers have been showing well recently, especially from New Fen viewpoint and Joist Fen viewpoint. Here is a lovely picture of a female that I was sent yesterday that was taken last year:

The local bearded tits have been showing well on and off over the last couple of days. A male was seen carrying nesting material in front of Mere Hide this morning.

The newly cut area in New Fen South, which is between Mere Hide and Joist Fen viewpoint, continues to be a good place for sightings. A drake garganey was seen in there this morning and a wood sandpiper was skulking around in there yesterday. Up to three great white egrets have also been feeding in there. Here is a picture of one of them in flight from yesterday:

Although it hasn't been great weather for seeing hobbys over the last couple of days, there are still around 30 in the area. Here is a picture of one perched up from yesterday:

Image credits: Gleb Berloff

Thank you very much to Gleb for sharing all of these images with us. 

At least four male cuckoos are still present, along with a couple of females. Several grasshopper warblers are singing and the most showy one tends to be the one just west of Mere Hide. I heard a spotted flycatcher calling in Trial Wood, the middle poplar wood yesterday morning and a wheatear flew over Joist Fen viewpoint around two hours later. 

I went out for a walk before work this morning and photographed this pretty lady's smock that is currently in flower near the visitor centre:

Image credits: David White

If you are planning to visit the reserve, please note that there are currently cattle grazing on the riverbank Public Footpath.

We hope to see you soon! 

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