Ouse Fen reserve is now slowly emerging from the cold dark winter, with the first fresh blades of grass shooting and plucky migrant birds testing the air. We have had a steady flow of migrants through including sand martins house martins and swallows  most noticeable at Berry Fen. Also there were up to 10 yellow wagtails  and 30 white wagtails, 4 wheatears  , as well as a whinchat on the 15th April. Much scarcer, there were 2 ring ouzels   at Ouse Fen on the 16th. A few of the warblers have also successfully now made their way back with willow warblers   and chiffchaffs   fairly widespread and the first reed  and sedge warbler  , blackcaps  , whitethroats  into the valley by mid-month. It is great to see the terns back too, with 9 sandwich terns along the river on the 12th, an arctic   and 3 common terns   at Needingworth by the 17th, with a little gull   a day later at Berry Fen.  The warmer weather has also brought out the first of the season’s butterflies – but only small tortoiseshell , peacocks   and brimstone  here so far.  

Our booming bitterns   have been back in action since the beginning of March. The season is off to a flyer with up to three individuals present, up on last year’s two. Marsh harriers  have also been displaying exuberantly over the reedbeds. An added bonus when out doing a bittern survey was hearing a drumming snipe. We are ably assisted in all these bird surveys by dedicated volunteers.

Could this be one of our booomers? (Photo by Walter Haddow)

Marsh Harrier food pass (Photo by Walter Haddow)