I had a bit of a surprise when I got to work yesterday morning. I took one look at the visitor centre and this is what I found:
OK, I might be exaggerating a bit but there was some snow on the ground! As I was bought up in Dorset, I had scarcely ever seen snow until I moved up here four years ago, least of all in October! This is a picture that I took here in December 2009, on a morning that I will never forget.
Although the weather hasn’t been great over the last couple of days, there has still been plenty to see. A bittern was seen making a long flight from Joist Fen viewpoint on Friday afternoon. A kingfisher was fishing in the visitor centre pond and two very late house martins flew over the visitor centre.
I braved the cold yesterday morning and was rewarded with a fantastic view of three roe deers grazing on the riverbank. A Cetti’s warbler was calling near the washland viewpoint and a kingfisher zoomed up one of the channels near the pond dipping area.
I dashed back up to the washland viewpoint between showers at lunchtime and there were good numbers of wildfowl present. There were 32 wigeons, 28 gadwalls and 11 teals on the large pool. Our resident whooper swan was also present and a little egret flew east along the river.
Several hardy souls headed down to Joist Fen viewpoint and one visitor was rewarded with extremely close views of a bittern in front of the viewpoint and several bearded tits. A male merlin was also seen and I was treated to the sight of a water rail having a bath near the visitor centre.
This morning a curlew flew over Brandon Fen along with nine lapwings. There were a few surprises on the washland with a female goosander and two great black backed gulls present. A female stonechat also kept popping up on the bushes alongside the river.
There is plenty to see on the reserve at the moment so why not wrap up warm and come to see us? We hope to see you soon.