It has been an extremely busy week with lots going on both work and wildlife wise. Here are some of the highlights. A red kite is still wandering around the area and it was seen here on Sunday. I saw presumably the same bird just the other side of RAF Lakenheath yesterday.
There are still plenty of warblers around including plenty of common whitethroats and grasshopper warblers which have just piped up again. Reed warblers and sedge warblers are also widespread as they are busy second brooding.
There was plenty of bittern activity on Wednesday with at least two birds seen from Joist Fen viewpoint and one from New Fen viewpoint. Several marsh harriers were on the wing and two bearded tits were seen near Joist Fen viewpoint. Meanwhile, on the insect front, several black tailed skimmers are now on the wing:
There has been plenty of golden oriole activity recently and a male was seen flying from Trial Wood to West Wood yesterday morning. Two kingfishers were seen from New Fen viewpoint along with two bearded tits. At least one cuckoo was also nearby. A gigantic female grass snake also gave me the fright of my life as it slithered across the path in front of me yesterday afternoon.
A honey buzzard was reported flying west along the river from the washland viewpoint this afternoon. The local stoats have also been keeping busy as one was seen carrying a large prey item along the entrance track earlier on. We hope to see you soon.
Please note that the bat night tonight (Friday June 29) is FULLY BOOKED. Unfortunately, we can only accommodate those who have booked places in advance. The next bat night will be on Friday August 3. Please click here for further details.
We have just had a great walk around the reserve looking at plants and insects. As we walked alongside East Wood, a scarce chaser came and perched right alongside the path which was lovely.
Our main target though was the bee orchids which are in flower on the riverbank. Many thanks to regular visitor Barry who pointed us in the right direction. Here are some photos of this lovely plant:
Photo credit- Suzanne Harwood
On the way back, I couldn’t resist and take a photo of another plant that was in flower:
Photo credit: David White
This is common meadow rue. This plant is very important, as the larvae of the incredibly rare marsh carpet moth feed on its seed heads. This moth is moreorless restricted to East Anglia and we may have the largest population in the country according to our annual caterpillar surveys. Here is a picture of an adult:
Photo credit: Lee Gregory
If they are not on the wing already, they should be very soon. If we catch one, we will usually have it on display on the visitor centre for a short period of time. If we manage to catch one, we will let you know. We hope to see you soon.