We have thunder storms all morning on Friday and at times, the sky looked quite frankly terrifying! However, once the storms had finally blown through, it was a pleasant (if very sticky) afternoon. The local bearded tits were out and about including one at New Fen viewpoint ad four juveniles preening themselves near Joist Fen viewpoint. Several marsh harriers were seen over the reedbed and at least one kingfisher was making regular fishing trips to the visitor centre pond.

I was pleasantly surprised to chase a turtle dove along the entrance track yesterday morning as I drove in and I saw a very tatty male marsh harrier over the washland. I also find two very strange looking insects. Here is the first one:

Image credit: David White

It is a damselfly of some kind but despite looking in various books, I still can't work out what type! I would like it to be a variable damselfly which is one of our scarcer species of "damsel" here. However, I am am really not sure what it is! If anybody does have any ideas, please comment below!

The second strange creature was this one:

Image credit: David White

Its rather embarrassing really, the only reason why i photographed it was because I thought it was some strange-looking kind of caddis fly. However, once Roy and I looked at it properly later on, we found that it was in fact a species of bush cricket. A bit if thumbing through the filed guide told us that it was a long-winged conehead. Well, as they say, you learn something every day! 

At least one bittern was seen in flight from Joist Fen viewpoint and a hobby was seen distantly over the west end of the reserve. The visitor centre kingfisher was also again present in the morning. I went out for a little walk in the afternoon and there were just so many butterflies to see. One one particular patch of hemp agrimony, I counted 13 peacocks, a gatekeeper and a small tortoiseshell!

I went for  walk in the sun this morning and as I walked along the riverbank, I saw two common terns mobbing a little egret. There were already plenty of insects on the wing including this lovely comma:

Image credit: David White

I also saw a painted lady which was sadly far too far away for me to photograph and a red admiral that was basking on the hard track alongside Trial Wood. Dragonflies were also conspicuous including a migrant hawker that paused briefly in front of me and lots of common darters. The sun is shining today so why not come and visit? We hope to see you soon!