Good morning. I will start with a trip down memory lane. Here is a photograph from the pumping station down at the far end of the reserve from the 1970’s:

This was taken when the majority of what is now the reserve was owned by Bryant and May and was covered in American hybrid black poplars

Fast-forward to more recent times, here are some lovely picture of marsh harriers that were hunting over the reserve recently:


Image credits: Stephen Reeve

Thank you very much to Roy and Stephen for sharing these images with us.

There was a large number of “wild swans” feeding north of the river on Tuesday. Although it was difficult to get an accurate count, there seemed to be a good number of Bewick’s swans and plenty of whooper swans.

It felt very spring like on Wednesday morning and there were plenty of birds singing first thing. This included a marsh tit, a song thrush and a goldcrest near the visitor centre. A skylark was also singing near the Washland viewpoint.

I walked around Brandon Fen and there were five roe deer skulking in the grazing marsh. A great white egret was feeding along the river and at least eight whooper swans were on the washland. At least five redshanks were also present.

I had a pleasant surprise when I drove in yesterday morning: a barn owl was perched up on the entrance barrier! Surprisingly, it let me get very close to it before it flew off. If only I had my camera!

Volunteer Roger saw a great white egret from the Washland viewpoint first thing and another three were seen north of the river later on in the day. A pair of stonechats were feeding near Mere Hide and a sparrowhawk flew over the same area.

Although it was rather windy and wild this morning. I did see a few things during my walk around Brandon Fen. Two muntjac deer were skulking on the approach to the riverbank and a female marsh harrier was hunting over the grazing marsh. When I got to the Washland viewpoint, 31 whooper swans and two Bewick’s swans were present. A small group of siskins were feeding in the alders behind the visitor centre when we opened up which were lovely to see.

If you are planning to visit the reserve, the Public Footpath along the riverbank is likely to be slippery in places and wellies are now moreorless essential for negotiating this path at present.

We hope to see you soon!