Hello to all and welcome to a short-but-sweet blog. I'm running a bit short on time to write a full blog this week but without wanting potential visitors to miss out on the latest sightings from the reserve, below is what we have seen so far in the past week. We are now onto the third day of autumn and a couple of cloudy days begun the month but today we have had glorious sunshine, bringing out the butterflies and dragonflies for all to see. Long may it continue!

First up, on the Washland, we have had:

Ringed plover - 8 on 2 September

Ruff - 1 on 30 August

Dunlin - 4 on 2 September, 2 on 31 August

Snipe - 2 on 31 August, 5 on 30 August

Avocet - 1 on 30 August

Black-tailed godwit - 5 on 31 August, 10 on 30 August

Ringed plover - 12 on 1 September, 14 on 31 August, 8 on 30 August

Sand martin - 6 on 31 August

Greenshank - 1 on 30 August

Grey heron - 6 juveniles on 3 September

White stork - 1 on the afternoon of 2 September

And on the pool north of New Fen:

Wood sandpiper - 1 on 2 September, 1 on 30 August

Spotted redshank - 1 on 2 September

Common sandpiper - 4 on 2 September, 1 on 30 August

Ruff - 7 on 2 September, 3 on 30 August

Greenshank - 3 on 2 September, 3 on 30 August

Snipe - 1 on 2 September

Black-tailed godwit - 1 on 2 September

At the Visitor Centre pool:

Kingfisher - 1 on 2 September (but here almost daily, often juveniles)

Grey heron - 1 juvenile throughout 1 and 2 September, learning to fish and hunt

In Brandon Fen:

Hobby - 1 in fast flight through on 1 September

At New Fen:

Hobby - 1 over on 30 August

Peregrine - 1 over on 30 August

Common crane- 1 in flight on 3 September, flying towards Mere Hide

Insects

Butterfly highlights include lots of red admiral, a few peacock, small tortoiseshell and painted ladies on and around the buddleia at the Visitor Centre. Speckled wood butterflies are also enjoying the ripe blackberries along the fence line at the Visitor Centre and sometimes a brimstone has a look at the buddleia too.

Moths- We haven't set a moth trap this week but the timber cladding on the Visitor Centre continues to attract red underwing moths and a canary-shouldered thorn also today. Check the Visitor Centre carefully for these slate-grey moths (the red underwing is only visible in flight) as they are an impressive size and very beautiful!

Dragonflies- Brown hawker numbers are now much reduced but there are lots of southern hawker, migrant hawker and Emperor dragonflies about. Ruddy darter, common darter and willow emerald damselflies are a common sight too.

Our human volunteers have done a wonderful job this week strimming the paths and in particular the Photography Station, which now looks very smart after it's haircut and with it's new reed screens either side fitted on the Thursday work party to replace the knackered ones! 

I hope this update is useful and that you are able to visit us this weekend. The forecast is looking good so why not pop by for an ice-cream and a wander? Even if you only have half an hour, a look at the buddleia, the bramble bushes and the wildlife pond outside the Visitor Centre will reward you with a surprising amount of wildlife. If you have time for a longer walk, come along to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Fens and escape for a few hours! There's nothing like listening to the hum of crickets and hearing the breeze blow through the reeds... and nothing else!

With best wishes for a good weekend,

Heidi 

(Visitor Experience Officer, RSPB Lakenheath Fen).

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