The thing I love the most about this time of year is the element of unpredictability that is in the air. Take Monday (22nd) for example. As it was a nice morning, I got down to the reserve early before work to see what was around. I soon bumped into a group of birdwatchers and asked them whether they had seen the garganey on the washland pool that had been there since the previous Wednesday. They told me that they had seen two male garganies and a crane. Brilliant!
I rushed back to the visitor centre to get my telescope and was soon up at the washalnd viewpoint. I picked out the two male garganies, looking fantastic in the morning light in their dapper uniform of a large white eye stripe and lovely silver shawl around their bellies. I panned left and there, stood on a narrow strip of land, was "Tiny". If you have never met Tiny, he or she was the first sucessfully fledged crane in the Fens for over 400 years, who was raised by it's parents "Little and Large" on the reserve last year. It is very unsual to see cranes this close to the visitor centre. However, as Tiny was driven out of it's parents territory at the end of February and has been roaming the reserve since. Tiny stayed on the washland long enough for all of the staff to see him or her, so that was a great start to the day.
A few hours later, I was sat in the office when another birdwatcher rushed in and said that there was a black redstart in the car park. The volunteer who was in the visitor centre that morning said that she had never seen my eyes that big before!. I shot out of the visitor centre and soon, I was looking at Lakenheath Fen's 2nd ever black redstart. It was a smokey grey femake that was perched on a post quivering it's bright red tail. This was a brilliant bird to see and it stayed around for the rest of the day.
This just shows that in the Spring, you never know what is going to appear on your doorstep! The next day a single alpine swift flew over the reserve, but that will have to be a story for another day!