Good morning. We have been kept entertained over the last couple of days by the antics of a pair of mallards that seem intent on nesting quite close to the visitor centre. Here are some pictures of them prospecting one of the raised plant beds in front of the visitor centre:

Image credits: David White

The same pair were seen trying to get into the visitor centre yesterday morning so who knows where they are going to end up nesting!

Anyhow, that is quite enough silliness for now! As we have finally had some rain, there is now a bit of water on the large pool in front of the Washland viewpoint. I went up there with my telescope on Wednesday lunchtime and I counted the following: 

There was plenty of birdsong in the afternoon sunshine which was lovely to hear. A marsh tit and a goldcrest were singing in front of the visitor centre. A green woodpecker was also calling in the distance.

Meanwhile, further down the reserve, two cranes and a bittern were seen from Joist Fen viewpoint. Several water pipits were feeding between Joist Fen viewpoint and Mere Hide.

I had a couple of encounters with the local deer and two Muntjac deer were feeding at the edge of the entrance track when I left on Wednesday. When I drove in yesterday morning, three roe deer were feeding in almost exactly the same place.

A chaffinch was singing near the visitor centre as I was opening up which is the first one I have heard on the reserve this year. I popped up to the Washland viewpoint briefly and counted five redshanks. A water pipit also flew up in front of the viewpoint.

Suzanne went for a walk around Brandon Fen and saw two sparrowhawks. She also saw a green woodpecker and heard a curlew calling.

This morning, presumably the same five redshanks were feeding in front of the Washland viewpoint with two shelducks. A water rail was squealing near the viewpoint and I had a great view of a kingfisher that was perched up just west of the viewpoint for around five minutes.

If you are planning to visit the reserve, please note that the riverbank Public Footpath is currently muddy in places. The grassy path alongside West Wood is also very wet. Wellies are recommended if you are intending to use either of these paths at present.  All of the other reserve paths are fine.

We hope to see you soon.

Anonymous