April, 2011

Lakenheath Fen

Lakenheath Fen
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Lakenheath Fen

  • A waiting game

    It seems that the first golden oriole that was heard on Tuesday evening is keeping a low profile at the moment. The bird is not calling very often and may just be feeding up after a long journey north from Sub-Saharan Africa. When the birds become more vocal, we will let you know. There are plenty of grasshopper warblers reeling in various places, and there are at least four cuckoos now present.

    Bitterns are still booming, although it may be slightly more difficult to hear in the wind. Several marsh harriers can now be seen carrying nesting material, and some have started food passing. The escaped female Harris hawk is still present, and is occasionally bullied by the local marsh harriers! There was an incredible count of 56 hobbys from Joist Fen viewpoint on Thursday, and numbers are still high so it is well worth coming to see these amazing birds.

    The pair of garganey is still present on the washland, but they can be elusive at times. There are several common terns present, and with the winds swinging back to easterlies, it is possible that we might get a few more black terns passing through. It’s a great time to be here at Lakenheath Fen, so why not come and give us a visit?


  • The winds of change

    It is amazing how things can change in a matter of days. Over the Easter weekend we were sunning ourselves and complaining that it was too hot. However, since the wind direction has changed and there is a distinct tinge of northerly in it, it has suddenly become quite chilly! There is still plenty to hear and see though.

    The first swift of the year was seen on Sunday, and the sky was full of hobbys. Numbers of these aerobatic little falcons have increased steadily over the last couple of days and on Monday; there were at least 50 over the west end of the reserve! Also on Monday, there was a count of three garganeys, albeit a male and two females. So who knows, we may even have four of these beautiful little dabblers present.

    A honey buzzard was seen by one lucky visitor flying east along the river on Sunday evening, and the escaped Harris hawk (which we have just identified as  a female) is being seen fairly regularly and is frequently bullied by the local marsh harriers. The reserve seems to be full of the sound of cuckoos, and several grasshopper warblers are in full voice.

    As reported earlier, the first golden oriole was heard yesterday evening, and it was calling intermittently this morning. Unfortunately, these birds may be difficult to track down over the next week or so, especially if the wind remains as strong as it is at the moment and if it stays cool. However, I dare say there will be plenty of eyes looking for them so sightings are possible!


  • The first oriole is here!

    A golden oriole was heard calling in West Wood yesterday evening. Although it was very windy this morning, there were some probable snatches of song. Although early mornings are usually best for this species, the strong wind and relatively cool temperature may make them difficult to hear and see over the next few days. At least 50 Hobbys were over the west end of the reserve on Monday.

    More to follow soon..........