Lakenheath Fen

Lakenheath Fen

Lakenheath Fen
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Lakenheath Fen

  • 27 July recent sightings: Here comes the rain

    Good morning. We have got some inconvenient but much needed rain here this morning so instead of gazing out of the window waiting for the rain to stop; I thought I would update you all with some recent sightings.

    I will begin with some great images that were taken on the reserve last week:

    A stoat in full flow: 

    Kingfisher

    Juvenile bearded tit

    Bittern

    Image credits: David Gowing

    Thank you very much to David for sharing these great images with us.

    A jay was mimicking a common buzzard outside the visitor centre on Saturday and there was plenty of kingfisher activity in front of Mere Hide. A bittern was also seen from the same area.

    Meanwhile, a juvenile bittern was seen in front of Joist Fen viewpoint and a water vole was seen near the visitor centre. A sand digger wasp was also feeding in front of the visitor centre. 

    We had our family fun day on Sunday and I walked around Brandon Fen early in the day to check the trail was still up. While I was out, there were at least 10 black tailed skimmers on the wing. Later on in the day, a ruby tailed wasp was showing well in front of the visitor centre along with a hornet mimic hoverfly. There were also two juvenile kestrels over the visitor centre. 

    A red kite flew over New Fen viewpoint on Monday. There was also plenty of crane activity at the far end of the reserve. The family of four were seen in flight west of Joist Fen viewpoint and the other pair were seen with their young in the grazing marsh west of Trial Wood.

    Yesterday, bitterns were seen from New Fen viewpoint and Joist Fen viewpoint. There were 12 juvenile grey herons on the washland and nine little egrets were also present. Meanwhile, closer to the visitor centre, a stoat was seen carrying a mouse along the visitor centre veranda.

    There is plenty to see at the moment so why not come and visit? We hope to see you soon! 

  • 23 July recent sightings: Images and Words once again

    Good morning. I will begin with an apology: I didn’t post any images in my last recent sightings blog post. I hope you all accept my apology and rest assured, images will be back with a vengeance in today’s post!

    I went for a walk down to New Fen viewpoint before work yesterday morning. Here is the view towards Hockwold church: 

    I heard kingfishers near the Washland viewpoint and near the visitor centre. There were plenty of gatekeepers on the wing along the riverbank and a chiffchaff was singing in the big willow near the visitor centre.

    When I got to New Fen viewpoint, I was very pleased to find two juvenile bearded tits feeding on the grit tray in front of the viewpoint. As I walked back through the reserve, I spooked a buck roe deer that was skulking around the Fen pools. 

    I had to pop out mid morning to change some signs over and while I was out, I saw a brown hawker and a hornet mimic hoverfly alongside the hard track near the Fen pools. I also saw several ringlets

    As the day went on, Katherine, Emma and Rob went to count marsh carpet moth caterpillars down at the far end of the reserve. While they were down there, they saw four cranes in flight just west of Joist Fen viewpoint.

    When they returned, they apprehended a Roesel’s bush cricket that was attempting to gain entry to the visitor centre: 

    In the afternoon, this red admiral was busy feeding on the buddleia in front of the visitor centre: 

    Towards the end of the day, I was summoned out into the visitor centre to identify a “dragonfly” that was perching on the visitor centre window. Closer scrutiny found that it was not a dragonfly, it was a damselfly! Here are some pictures of it: 

    Image credits: David White

    It turned out to be a willow emerald damselfly. This species was only recorded on the reserve for the first time last September, so it is fantastic news that it is on the wing here again this year. Hopefully, there will be plenty more on the wing between now and the end of September. Congratulations to volunteer Roy who initially alerted me to its presence! 

    If you are planning to visit the reserve this weekend, I would just like to reiterate the two notices that I posted at the end of Thursday’s blog post:

    Firstly, due to the fact that kingfishers have been showing very well from Mere Hide recently, it has been very popular with birdwatchers and photographers alike.  There is limited seating, so while using the hide, please be considerate to your fellow hide users. During busy times, if you have been in the hide for a while, and someone comes in, please consider giving up your seat to give someone else the opportunity to watch wildlife.

    Secondly as part of our summer holidays family fun day on Sunday, there will be a bird ringing demonstration taking place weather permitting. Everyone is welcome to have a look in if you are here so fingers crossed the weather will be kind! Please read this blog post for more information. 

    There is plenty to see at the moment so why not come and visit? We hope to see you soon!

     

     

     

  • 21 July recent sightings: Variety is the spice of life

    Good afternoon. I haven’t been here since the end of last week so this afternoon’s sightings may be slightly eclectically arranged!

    On Friday afternoon, a kingfisher was fishing in front of New Fen viewpoint and two bearded tits were feeding on the grit tray in front of the viewpoint. An emperor moth caterpillar was photographed on the riverbank and an oystercatcher flew over the visitor centre, calling as it went.

    I had a pleasant surprise as I went past the reserve on the train on Friday evening on the way down to visit my parents in Dorset: I saw three cranes from the train. It was the pair that we know as “Little & Large” along with their youngster, which has only got a couple of weeks to go before it fledges. What a treat!

    Katherine was working on Sunday and she was lucky enough to see a stoat hunting in our staff car park. One of our regulars went looking for insects on Sunday and as he found so many, I have attached his list to this blog post for interest. 

    A kingfisher was seen from the visitor centre window on Monday and a water rail was seen at the edge of the visitor centre pond on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, Warden Emma counted 76 mute swans feeding in front of the Washland viewpoint which is a good count for this time of year.

    The reserve team did a bittern survey this morning and although there wasn’t much bittern activity, four cranes were seen in flight west of Joist Fen viewpoint. Volunteer Catherine was out and about on the reserve and saw a great white egret in flight from New Fen viewpoint. She also saw a bittern in flight. As the day has gone on, kingfishers have been showing well in front of Mere Hide.

    If you are planning to visit the reserve over the next couple of days, here are a few notices:

    Firstly, due to the fact that kingfishers have been showing very well from Mere Hide recently, it has been very popular with birdwatchers and photographers alike.  There is limited seating, so while using the hide, please be considerate to your fellow hide users. During busy times, if you have been in the hide for a while, and someone comes in, please consider giving up your seat to give someone else the opportunity to watch wildlife.

    Secondly as part of our summer holidays family fun day on Sunday, there will be a bird ringing demonstration taking place weather permitting. Everyone is welcome to have a look in if you are here so fingers crossed the weather will be kind! Please read this blog post for more information. 

    There is plenty to see at the moment so why not come and visit? We hope to see you soon!