• Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 20 September 2019

    This week has seen the first of the cool nights of autumn, the days however have been largely fine and dry. We are expecting one last push of warm air from the south in the next few days so it will be interesting to see what that brings.

    The highlights from the past week are as follows;

     Osprey- we have had at least two ospreys, maybe more hanging around for the past three weeks. These birds are passing through on their…

    • 20 Sep 2019
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 23 August 2019

    With the first hints of autumn in the air, it seems like a good time for a summer update, particularly focussing on the breeding wildlife at Strumpshaw Fen and the wet grassland of Buckenham and Cantley Marshes. Below is a sample of species to be found on the reserve in 2019.

     Bittern- Two booming males again this year. We also located two nests on the reserve, both of which was thought to be successful. The females could…

    • 23 Aug 2019
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 19 July 2019

    This week has seen a fairly mild air mass over us and has brought a few hot days as well as small amount of much needed rainfall, more is predicted for the coming weekend too.

     The highlights this week have once again gone to the butterflies, with silver-washed fritillaries, white admirals, and the first sighting of white-letter hairstreak of the year. A swallowtail was seen on Monday and Tuesday, but they are very few…

    • 19 Jul 2019
  • Strumpshaw Fen Recent Sightings 4 July 2019

    The very hot weekend gave way to cooler conditions this week, although sunny spells made it have a very pleasant feel and continued to produce good wildlife sightings, particularly the invertebrates.

    The favourable conditions this weekend gave many visitors good swallowtail butterfly encounters, with at least ten separate butterflies seen on Saturday. This is slightly more than I would expect for this time of the year…

    • 4 Jul 2019
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 28 June 2019

    This week has seen mixed weather conditions, starting off with a very humid plume of air sitting over us from southern Europe, this gave way to a largely cloudy and cool week. The weekend looks like its set for another mini heatwave though, so should be a great time to be at Strumpshaw Fen!

     The last few swallowtail butterflies are still on the wing, there has been an obvious decrease in the past week, but with the weather…

    • 28 Jun 2019
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 7 June 2019

    This week has seen the continued rise of the insects!

     The weekend was beautifully hot and sunny, which certainly brought many visitors to the reserve, luckily the swallowtails were also performing very well, with up to five swallowtails at once on our nectar garden by reception hide. This is without doubt, the top spot on the reserve for seeing and photographing the butterflies so it is definitely worth checking out…

    • 7 Jun 2019
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 31 May 2019

    A mixed week of weather, starting off fairly cool and showery but ending with a bit of warmth, which is promised to continue through the weekend!

     Due to the hot sunny conditions this weekend, I would say that it should be a very good weekend to see Swallowtail butterflies. They have been showing very well on the nectar garden by Reception, indeed this seems to be the most reliable location on the reserve; however they…

    • 31 May 2019
  • Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen 23 May 2019

    This week has seen the temperatures rise and has mainly been sunny, which in turn has caused a good increase in insects!

     The main news this week is that the swallowtail butterflies have started to emerge!

    The first butterfly was seen on 14 May, but they have taken a little while to get going. This week’s warm conditions have initiated an increase in sightings, however they can still take some finding. There have been…

    • 23 May 2019
  • Recent sightings, Strumpshaw Fen 12 May 2019

     Apologies for lack of recent updates.

    The spring season has certainly been a bit up and down as far as the weather goes so far, however we are expecting a sunny week ahead of us now.

    We are up to a full house as far as migrants are concerned at the fen, with plenty of warblers including reed, sedge, grasshopper, whitethroat, blackcap, garden, chiffchaff and willow warblers. Of note, there have been up to eight grassh…

    • 12 May 2019
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 8 April 2019

    A good week of spring weather with some warm sunny days, mixed in with cool cloudy days, wind largely from the West, but briefly turning from the south.

     The migrants are still arriving in dribs and drabs, this week we have had our first sedge warblers at the fen as well as an early grasshopper warbler reeling from Fen Hide, which appears to be the first Norfolk sighting this year. Willow warblers are being heard more…

    • 8 Apr 2019
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 21 March 2019

    We are now officially in the season of spring. Its not just the calendar that tells us that, but a whole host of indications in the natural world are becoming increasingly obvious by the day.

     The most obvious avian highlight of the week was the first wave of migrating chiffchaffs arriving on the reserve on Tuesday. Up until now we have had singles singing around the reserve but on Tuesday morning we had at least 10-15…

    • 21 Mar 2019
  • Recent Sightings 15 March 2019

    After writing about unseasonably warm weather in my last blog, its now time to write about a period of particularly windy weather! This past week has seen gusts of wind 50+mph on each day, luckily the trees are not yet in leaf as that would have resulted in far more fallen trees than we have seen so far. The wind is due to remain strong until late Saturday afternoon so it is likely that there will be woodland trail closures…

    • 14 Mar 2019
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 1 March 2019

    The past two weeks will be remembered for the unseasonably warm sunny weather. The temperatures rose to 17 degrees here and with unbroken sun, it really did feel warm. The temperature increase certainly caused a mass emergence of insects and it felt more like April at times! While this was very welcome warmth, I cant help but be a bit concerned by the timing of the warmth, after all it was February!

     This week we recorded…

    • 28 Feb 2019
  • Recent Sightings 15 February 2019

    The past couple of weeks have seen quite a mix of weather, currently we have a fantastic blue sky with settled conditions with a southerly wind forecast for the coming week.

     The marsh harriers are displaying well on the calm clear days, treating us to their cartwheeling in the sky. Red Kites, buzzards and sparrowhawks are also taking to the air and displaying. If at first you don’t see any birds of prey, try scanning…

    • 18 Feb 2019
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 31 January 2019

    The past couple of weeks have seen quite a mix of weather, but we appear to be currently gripped by a cold spell, meaning that the majority of our broads are frozen.

    With the majority of waterbodies frozen, the wildfowl have been grouped together at Reception Broad, this flock has consisted mainly of gadwall, mallard, teal and coot…all of which are now paired up. A kingfisher was seen on the river on Tuesday as…

    • 31 Jan 2019
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 18 January 2019

    The year has started off with mild and windy weather…and with the wind came a North Sea tidal surge! (The image above shows one of our footpaths during the flood!)

    Strumpshaw Fen has been a little on the quiet side in the past couple of weeks, apart from a thriving marsh harrier roost every evening and the odd cettis warbler shouting from the scrub around the fen. We do have the usual suspects of wildfowl on the…

    • 18 Jan 2019
  • Review of 2018 at Strumpshaw Fen and the wider Mid Yare Valley reserves

    Wildlife review of 2018 at the Mid Yare Valley reserves

    This year has seen vast contrasts in weather conditions, from the freezing cold March right through to the (joint) hottest on record, these conditions have affected the resident and migrant bird populations in 2018. Below are a list of the highlights and a couple of lowlights of the year.

    First of all to the breeding season; on average the breeding birds decreased…

    • 24 Dec 2018
  • Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen 14 December 2018


    Since the last update we have had a series of changeable weather systems bringing warm windy conditions and more recently cold frosty spells. This week in particular the broad in front of reception was completely frozen over Monday to Wednesday, while just a mile away conditions were far more mild. We also flooded over the last weekend, up to a foot of water was rushing over the paths in places, luckily the water seemed…

    • 14 Dec 2018
  • Strumpshaw Fen Sightings 27 November 2018

    The 'taiga' bean geese have returned to Buckenham Marshes.

    Sunday afternoon saw the first returning four birds, by lunchtime on Monday there were 8 and on Monday afternoon 16 were reported.

    The birds are usually seen feeding in the ditch edges around the centre of the reserve, viewable from the footpath towards the hide or the mill.

    The flock is usually on its own, but at times they can mingle into the white fronted…

    • 27 Nov 2018
  • Strumpshaw Fen recent sightings 23 November 2018

    The past week has seen the onset of a period of cloudy and damp conditions with easterly winds.

    The highlights this week have been the vast numbers of regularly occurring birds... The starling roost has had a rise and fall, it appears that the flock peaked at around 8000 on Sunday, but in the past couple of days it has all but fizzled out. It seems as though we will not get our sustained starling roost this year,…

    • 23 Nov 2018
  • Recent Sighting Strumpshaw Fen 5 November 2018

    The past few weeks have seen the subtle change in weather edging closer to winter, although we are looking at a nice mild week with warm southerly airflow.


    We have seen the usual shift in species, with large numbers of winter thrushes such as fieldfare and redwings passing south as well as an increase in finches. There appears to be a growing finch flock located between the car park and the meadows feeding on alder…

    • 5 Nov 2018
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 4 October 2018

    Gannet by Elizabeth Dack


    A largely fine and dry week with cool nights and early mornings, with some decent early autumn heat to be enjoyed when the sun shines.

    The star bird of the week has to go to the immature gannet that flew over the Reception Hide towards Brundall then veered North and presumably went North to the coast again. This was only the second record for the reserve, so quite oddly was far less common…

    • 4 Oct 2018
  • Recent Sightings 28 September 2018

    A quick update today…

    A small flock of bearded tits has been seen along Sandy Wall on Tuesday and Thursday, perhaps eight birds in total. While nowhere near the numbers of last year, it does give us hope that there are birds out there to recolonise the reserve.

    2 pectoral sandpipers have spent the whole week at Buckenham Marshes, favouring the pool in front of the hide. These waders have travelled from either…

    • 28 Sep 2018
  • Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen 13 September 2018

    With mixed conditions in early autumn now the norm, this past week we have had a large variety of weather, culminating in a beautiful sunny day on Thursday!

    The great white egret remains local, although it seems to be spending more time away from Tower Hide recently and has been spending time over the river at Surlingham Church Marsh. An osprey has put in a few appearances in the past couple of weeks, but has not been…

    • 13 Sep 2018
  • Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen 31 August 2018

    Hi All,

    Sorry for lack of update this week...so much to do!

    I have attached a photo of the sightings board from today.

    Highlights- great white egret still being seen, waders still from Tower Hide and Buckenham, red kites still performing nicely, weather still very nice.

    All paths still open and in good condition, meadow trail diversion in place.

    • 31 Aug 2018