February, 2012

Lakenheath Fen

Lakenheath Fen
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Lakenheath Fen

  • Busy, busy busy!

    Hello! Friday afternoon certainly inspired several birds of prey to show themselves. Two marsh harriers were displaying over the visitor centre and a common buzzard was nearby. A red kite was seen over the west end of the reserve. This is perhaps the same bird that was seen over the visitor centre on February 14. There were also two kingfishers along the river beyond Joist Fen viewpoint.


    There was plenty of wildfowl on the washland yesterday morning. This included four pintails, two little grebes and two pairs of great crested grebes. A coal tit was on the visitor centre feeders during the morning.


    Myself and Roy, one of our volunteers did a trial run for today’s long walk and we saw two cranes and at least seven marsh harriers at the west end of the reserve. A common buzzard was west of Trial Wood and a sparrowhawk flew over West Wood. Elsewhere, a ringtail hen harrier was seen from Joist Fen viewpoint and probably the same red kite from Friday flew over the car park during the afternoon.


    We had a fantastic time on our long walk around the reserve of around ten kilometres today. Both pairs of cranes were seen at the west end of the reserve and we were treated to superb views of “Little and Large”. Marsh harriers were almost constantly in view and at one point three were joined by three common buzzards. They must have been enjoying the same thermal.


    A treecreeper was seen in Botany Bay and plenty of Cetti’s warblers were singing from deep in the reedbeds. Although bearded tits proved to be quite elusive, several lucky people saw these charming little birds during the walk. Perhaps the highlight came just west of Joist Fen viewpoint as a bittern was feeding on the Norfolk bank of the river in full view of quite a few observers. This proved to be a perfect end to a fantastic walk.


    The ringtail hen harrier was again seen from Joist Fen viewpoint and a large flock of lapwing were present for most of the day. It is a fantastic time to come to Lakenheath Fen so we hope to see you soon.

  • The long walk Sunday February 26- FULLY BOOKED

    Please note that “The long walk” on Sunday is FULLY BOOKED. Unfortunately, we can only accommodate those who have booked places in advance. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. The next “long walk” will be on Sunday July 29 9.30am-3pm. Please ring 01842 863400 or e-mail lakenheath@rspb.org.uk for more details.

  • A brief foray into summer

    Yesterday was a lovely day; it got up to 18 degrees here during the afternoon! However, I will begin with a brief detour back to Wednesday. Unlike yesterday, it was rather grey and quite windy. All six cranes and a bittern were seen from Joist Fen viewpoint during the afternoon.


    The warm sunshine yesterday bought out plenty of great wildlife. A little owl was a pleasant surprise in Brandon Fen as it flew over with its distinctive bounding flight action. It was so warm that we had the office window open. It was a good job we did, as around 10am we heard a very distinctive and familiar bugling sound.....................


    We rushed outside and sure enough, saw two cranes flying in from the east and almost right over the visitor centre. Initially, we thought they were one of “our” pairs. However, there was something about their behaviour that didn’t seem right. Firstly, they were bugling a lot as they flew over. Secondly, they were flying round and seemed rather lost...........


    The plot then thickened as another pair flew up from behind East Wood. This was almost certainly “Little and Large” as they are occasionally seen in New Fen North. The “mystery pair” then flew along the whole length of the reserve and were then seen disappearing westwards. To complete the picture, two were seen from the train at a similar at a time so who knows what was going on!


    There was plenty of activity at this end of the reserve in the afternoon. A stoat dashed across the path between the visitor centre and the car park. A male sparrowhawk flashed across the entrance track and perhaps the same little owl was perched in Brandon Fen late afternoon.


    Although it wasn’t quite so summery this morning, there was still plenty to see. Two cranes flew into the grazing marsh near the railway line and a bittern flew out of Trial Wood at close quarters. Several marsh harriers were hunting over the reserve. A sparrowhawk flew through Trial Wood and there were two little egrets on the washland. We hope to see you soon.