With the strong winds forecast for the weekend we’ve been making the most of the nice weather whilst we can, meaning this has been the first opportunity we’ve had to blog for a little while!

It’s still a little quiet on the bird front, which is usual for this time of year, but we’ve still got plenty of sightings to report….

A family of kingfishers have been showing off nicely in front of Mere Hide for the last few days, clearly finding a fishing spot to their liking.


 Image credit by Stephen Reeve

This bittern was parading around for a good while at Joist Fen viewpoint on Sunday morning;

Image credit - Matt Walton

From New Fen viewpoint a sparrowhawk with prey (bonus points if you can identify what it is!) and recently hatched great crested grebes taking a break with a ride on their parent's back.


Image credits - Matt Walton

Newly fledged sparrowhawk’s have been making a racket in Brandon Fen recently and a barn owl at dusk last Saturday night was a highlight of our Big Wild Sleepout event.

Two cranes were present in Humphrey's paddock (that's the field looking left from Joist fen viewpoint, with cattle grazing in it) late on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, the photos I got of them are still on my camera…which is at home!!

Fortunately though, we have been sent these lovely crane photos by John Mills:

Tuesday saw the return of a familiar face (a certain Mr David White, a name regular blog readers will recognise I'm sure!) who, after a days hard graft on the reserve, provided us the following sightings:

Green sandpiper on the pool north of the river by East wood, a green woodpecker in East wood, two marsh harriers over the washland and a garden warbler near the fen pools.

A pre-work walk on Thursday for Suzanne and Darren produced chiffchaff ,two juvenile whitethroat (all around the visitor centre), juvenile green woodpecker and two juvenile sparrowhawk in Brandon Fen.

The stars of the show for the last couple of weeks have definitely been our insects, which have taken up more of our sighting sheets than birds have!

Butterflies recorded in the last few weeks include; painted lady, red admiral, brimstone and comma all of which have been reported regularly.

Painted lady by Matt Walton

Peacock butterfly - Emma Cuthbertson

We’ve had our second hummingbird hawkmoth of the year on the buddleia just outside the visitor centre and the first willow emerald damselfly of the year was seen in Brandon Fen on the 2nd August. 

And I’ll finish with this lovely Pantaloon bee, taken by Kim Tarsey, last Friday.

A massive thank you to everyone who sends in their photographs to us and allows us to brighten up the blog with them! If you’d like to share your photos with us and see them on the blog please send them to us at lakenheath@rspb.org.uk

PLEASE NOTE – Due to the strong winds forecast tomorrow (Saturday 10th August) parts of the reserve may be closed for safety reasons. Please call the visitor centre on 01842 863400 for more information if you plan on visiting