As the new visitor and publicity officer here at Fen Drayton Lakes (aka 'the new Neil') I wanted to introduce myself.
I'm joining the Fen Drayton team after 16 months at RSPB Middleton Lakes, another beautiful reserve north-east of Birmingham. I'm really glad to be returning to the Fens now - I used to live here for a few years and love the wildlife and enormous skies of this part of the world.
I just started on Monday so it's been a whirlwind week learning the ropes. Thanks to all the staff and volunteers here who have given me a warm welcome. If you see someone with short hair and a bike around the reserve this weekend - probably looking happily lost - then it may well be me. Come say hello!
In particular, I'm keen to find out what events you'd like to have at the reserve, as one of my first projects will be to get some more dates in the diary for the autumn and winter and beyond. Any ideas or suggestions, just post 'em below.
One of the nice features, this winter, has been the presence of up to three short-eared owls hunting over the fields along our Entrance Track.
The following photographs were taken by Garth Peacock, on Friday 27th January 2012.
Watch out for the owls from around 3pm onwards. They favour the arable revesion field to the south of the Entrance Track, between the Bailey bridge and the junction with Holywell Ferry Road.
The RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes Wildlife Explorers group met for the first time on Saturday afternoon. A busy programme of activities was put together, with the main one being a bug hunt.
Many of our members are already experts at this, as they've joined us on these events in the past, so they needed little guidance on where to look. There were lots of bugs, with a number of different bumblebees, solitary bees, flies, ladybirds, ants, centipedes and snails collected in pots, looked at then returned to where they were found.
One member looked under a log and found a lizard without a tail (Stumpy), then another went to look for bugs on a tree trunk and found another lizard there, this one with a full tail.
I wonder what we'd find if we try a reptile hunt?