So, we have come to it at last, my last recent sightings blog post as a member of staff at RSPB Lakenheath Fen! As it's impossible to sum up the last 10 and a half years in just one post, I thought I would just write one more post in my own unique (!) style!

Although the weather wasn't great on Thursday, I assisted the reserve team with the work party. While we were out and about, two Mediterranean gulls flew over the visitor centre and a garden warbler was singing at the edge of East Wood. A kingfisher was also perched at the edge of the visitor centre pond which was nice to see.

Meanwhile, further down the reserve, some of the work party saw what looked like a juvenile bittern near Mere Hide. At least three hobbys were also hunting overhead. An otter was seen feeding in the river and the family of three cranes were seen from the train by a very lucky individual. 

Warden Emma took me out for one more drive around the reserve in the afternoon and we saw a smart roe deer. My last duty of the day was to take Lakenheath Scouts out for an evening walk. We were treated to superb views of a smooth newt that was resting on the path around Brandon Fen. 

Local bird ringers Pete and Simon were in on Friday and they saw the following in the Brandon Fen and Washland areas of the reserve:

Administrator Suzanne went for a walk before work yesterday morning and saw a barn owl hunting over the washland and four cuckoos chasing eachother around the place. A kingfisher was also fishing in the visitor centre pond.

I came in for a walk with my camera mid-morning and took the following pictures that I hope you like:

Painted lady

Scorpion fly:

Two thick legged flower beetles exploring a dog rose flower:

A hoverfly:

Image credits: David White

I flushed a quail along the riverbank which was a bit of a surprise and saw a bittern on the approach to Mere Hide. I also saw some bearded tits between Mere Hide and Joist Fen viewpoint and at least two hobbys feeding over the same area.

Volunteer Paul headed up to the Washland viewpoint shortly after we opened this morning and saw the following:

A kingfisher has also just appeared at the edge of the visitor centre pond which has been lovely to see. 

If you are planning to visit the reserve, please note that there are still cattle grazing on the riverbank Public Footpath between the Washland viewpoint and Joist Fen viewpoint. 

Thank you very much to all of you who have read my blog posts regularly over the last few years and shared your wonderful images with us. I would also like to thank all of the staff and volunteers that I have worked with here over the years. As team photographs are as rare as hens teeth, here is a photograph of the five of us staff that was taken a few years ago:

This photo shows from left to right: Emma Cuthbertson: Warden, Dave Rogers: Site Manager, Suzanne Harwood: Administrator, Me: Visitor Experience Officer & Katherine Puttick: Warden.

If you would like to join this group of wonderful people, there is currently a vacancy in the team. Please click here for more information. 

I am planning to stay on as a volunteer so I may well see you around in the near future.

See you at the end of the rainbow!