• Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen 14 June 2018

    Apologies for the lack of updates recently (again), we are currently short staffed and do not have any full time land management volunteers so I have had to prioritise other work streams to ensure the reserve management is happening.


    The reserve has been looking fantastic this summer with very good numbers of swallowtails across the reserve. The swallowtails are currently still showing in the warm sunny conditions…

    • 14 Jun 2018
  • Spring update Strumpshaw Fen 18 May

    Apologies for lack of recent updates!!


    Savi's warbler still singing from Reception and Fen Hide, best heard at dawn or dusk.

    Swallowtails have started to emerge now, so pick a nice warm day and you may be rewarded, warm weekends are likely to be busy, so if you can make it during the week it would ease any potential car park issues.

    Migrant birds all here now, currently there are 8+ hobbys hawking…

    • 18 May 2018
  • Swallowtail Fever

    Early summer at Strumpshaw Fen reserve can be a magical experience. The fen wakes up from its long winter and life flourishes in abundance wherever you look.

    The star attractions are the magnificent swallowtail butterflies; they are the largest butterfly in the UK and this subspecies is only found in the Norfolk Broads. The butterflies can only be encountered for a brief period each year, most reliably being seen on…

    • 30 Apr 2018
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 18 April 2018

    Well, what a difference a week makes! Fine warm weather has finally arrived and with the forecast southerly winds, migrants have been arriving in large numbers. Spring is here at last.

    This week has really seen the migrant floodgates open up. Wednesday in particular saw a large increase in migrants such as willow warbler, chiffchaff, blackcap and sedge warbler. Reed warblers are also just starting to increase and at…

    • 18 Apr 2018
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 13 April 2018

     A relatively cool and overcast week, with very un-spring like conditions, however the migrants are certainly arriving and the forecast weather for next week should most certainly see the migrant flood gates open!

    Since my last update the spring migrants have been arriving slowly but surely. The first migrant chiffchaffs appeared on 14 March, with sand martins returning 28 March, these are often the first to return from…

    • 13 Apr 2018
  • Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen 23 March 2018

    This week has at last seen a rise in temperatures and has been largely dry and bright.

    The highlight of the week has been hearing the first bittern booming of the year. On Thursday evening I headed out to check on bittern progress and was pleased to hear a male just starting to warm up his neck muscles, he produced at least one soft boom in each of his grunting boom trains.

    On Thursday the sky was filled with birds…

    • 23 Mar 2018
  • Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen 16 March 2018

     Another week of fairly mixed weather, we have seen some bright and warm days such as Wednesday and some more grey and drizzly days like Friday. The forecast is set to turn cold with possible snow again this weekend, which is not such good news for the birds that have already started breeding.

    This week has seen a steady movement of redwings and fieldfares passing over the fen, presumably they are migrating east, back…

    • 16 Mar 2018
  • Strumpshaw Fen Recent Sightings 9 March 2018

     After the snowy conditions of last week, the weather has been far more pleasant with temperatures of ten degrees rather than minus five! The reserve was completely frozen apart from a very small patch of water that the coots were keeping open at Reception hide.

    Last week’s cold conditions brought a few less frequent visitors to the fen with the undoubted highlight being my first grey plover at Strumpshaw Fen…

    • 9 Mar 2018
  • Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen 23 February 2018

    A very brief roundup today due to time pressures….

    The cold weather may be approaching us in the coming week and looking at the movements of birds I believe the cold is on its way. The tell-tale signs of cold weather movements have been seen over the fen this morning; large flocks of woodpigeons and lapwings have been heading west, these species often gather together and move in groups away from the cold conditions…

    • 23 Feb 2018
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 15 Feb 2018

     A cold week with frosts and very low temperatures to start followed by bright and breezy conditions on Thursday with a pleasantly warm sun.

    This week’s highlights have included a fine female hen harrier, which has been seen on Monday and Thursday, this bird looks like it is roosting at the fen so is most likely to be encountered towards the beginning and end of the day. The marsh harrier males are increasingly…

    • 15 Feb 2018
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 9 Feb 2018

      A cold week with a mixture of snow showers, bright sunny days and dull wet conditions on Friday.

    This week has seen a couple of standout species; on Monday a lesser spotted woodpecker was briefly observed in the woodland behind the overflow car park, a female goshawk was also seen from reception hide on Thursday. These two species are more associated with Breckland than Broadland so, if confirmed would be fantastic records…

    • 9 Feb 2018
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 1 Feb 2018

     This week we have seen some lovely bright and almost warm conditions (on Tuesday), however the latter stage of the week has seen a return to cold and fairly wet conditions.

    The birds around the fen have certainly started to notice the lengthening of daylight hours and have responded with some early singing and even some drumming from the great spotted woodpeckers in the woodland. The bird highlights from this week have…

    • 1 Feb 2018
  • Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen 11 January 2018

    Largely overcast conditions and foggy periods this week. On the bright side the water in the river has finally gone down and with that, the fen level has also reduced. I am pleased to report that finally the riverbank path to Tower Hide and beyond is open again.

    The wildlife has remained largely similar to recent weeks, although believe it or not there are subtle signs of spring already happening. The main signs of spring…

    • 11 Jan 2018
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 4 January 2018

    Happy New Year!

    The Christmas period saw a mixture of very wet weather with a few nice days thrown in for good measure. The rain has caused all river systems in the area to utilise their flood plains, the flooding has penetrated in land as far as Fakenham I am told!

    The wildlife highlight of the Christmas period has to go to the roosting marsh harriers, with up to 33 in view at once on some evenings, it makes quite…

    • 4 Jan 2018
  • Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen 21 December 2017

    This week the lovely cool, clear frosty conditions gave way mild, damp and misty conditions, unfortunately these look like they are set to continue for the festive period.

    The starlings continue to roost in front of Reception hide and are still numbering at 15-30,000 most nights. They are still mainly arriving between 15.00 and 15.15, but as always it depends on cloud cover. They are not ‘murmurating’ quite as much as…

    • 21 Dec 2017
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 14 December 2017

    A rather chilly week, with icy conditions and even some snow for some. The broads at Strumpshaw have remained unfrozen, however the river levels have remained very high throughout the week.

    The highlight of the week has continued to be the starling murmuration, with as many as 30,000 now being seen in the roost. Wrap up warm and get in position for around 15.00 (but depends on cloud cover) and enjoy the spectacle of…

    • 14 Dec 2017
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 30 November 2017

    This week has seen a return of the cold conditions, with a northerly airflow bringing frost, ice and even some flurries of snow on Thursday.

    The highlight of the week has continued to be the starling murmuration, with as many as 30,000 now being seen in the roost. I am told that birds are still piling in on the North Norfolk coast so we may see even more in the coming weeks. Wrap up warm and get in position for around…

    • 30 Nov 2017
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 24 November 2017

     This week has mainly seen very mild conditions, with sunny spells, but very wind. Towards the end of the week cold air has plunged from the North bring some frost and far colder conditions, this is due to continue until the end of the month now.

    We still have upwards of 20,000 starlings roosting in front of Reception Hide, which is providing quite a spectacle. The fact that is at reception means that it is very accessible…

    • 24 Nov 2017
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 17 November 2017


    This week saw some much needed rain at times, however has ended with a beautiful bright, freezing day on Friday, where the first proper frost of the season has arrived at Strumpshaw Fen.

    The avian highlights this week have without doubt been the starlings, the roost appears to have remained stable at about 12,000 birds. These starlings have been coming in to roost from about 15.30, depending on weather and light…

    • 17 Nov 2017
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 10 November 2017

     This week has seen a continuation of winter migrants arriving at the fen.

    The highlight of the week has been the continuation of the starling roost in front of reception, we counted 21,500 roost on Saturday, this continued throughout the week, although looks to have reduced to around 15,000 now. These birds are best seen from reception and start coming in between 15.30 and 16.00 depending on weather and light conditions…

    • 10 Nov 2017
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 3 November 2017

     A slight lowering of the temperature following a stiff northerly gale has increased the number of winter birds present on site throughout the week.

    This week’s top birds have mostly involved passage birds; top of the list were 17 hawfinches that flew over Tower Hide on Sunday afternoon, part of a large influx that this country is experiencing at present. Other highlights were a ring ouzel in the scrub near to Tower…

    • 3 Nov 2017
  • Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen 13 October 2017

     A fairly pleasant week of weather for the most part, with Westerly winds taking hod for the majority of the week.

    The highlights from this week has been the continued flock of bearded tits showing well from Sandy Wall and Fen Hide. Fairly regular bittern flights have been seen across the reserve, kingfishers have continued to show, but slightly less regularly due to the strong winds causing too many ripples in front…

    • 13 Oct 2017
  • Recent sightings 6 October 2017


    The bearded tit flock has become increasingly reliable with as many as 50 individuals together, viewable mainly from Sandy Wall. These are absolutely fantastic to watch at relatively close quarters and a large proportion of them are the attractively marked males with their big black ‘moustaches’ (not beards!).

    Kingfishers have been seen regularly from all hides throughout the week.

    Bittern sightings have…

    • 29 Sep 2017
  • Recent Sightings 21 September

     A cool start to the week, with high pressure building, ready for milder air at the weekend.

    This week has continued to see typical autumnal scenes, the cool conditions have led to the first dropping of leaves and has increased the size of the roaming tit flocks throughout the reserve.

    The bearded tits have finally started to gather in their traditional autumn feeding flock between the river and Fen Hide, best viewed…

    • 21 Sep 2017
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 30 August 2017

    A very mixed week of weather so far, with a very hot and sunny bank holiday weekend followed by a wet and comparatively cool week.

    The highlight species from the past few weeks include a pectoral sandpiper, which has been present at Buckenham Marshes since Saturday morning and is still present at the time of writing (30/08). This is a rare species for the reserve, having travelled from either America or eastern Siberia…

    • 31 Aug 2017