Please note that the Race for Wildlife results will be posted here on Thursday. If you would like your time before them, please ring the office on 01842 863400.
Good morning. Apologies for the lack of updates for the last two weeks, I have been volunteering for the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) at Poda protected area. Here is a picture of me helping out with a reptile survey:
Image credit: Yuri Kornilev
Anyhow, now is not the time or place for me to tell you (anymore!) about my holiday so here is what has been going on here recently:
The recent mild weather has meant good news for the local photographers. Here are a selection of photos that Matt Walton took this week:
A female stonechat:
A female bearded tit:
A male bearded tit:
Image credit: Matt Walton
Thank you very much to Matt for sharing these great images with us.
I will concentrate on sightings from the last week. On Saturday, there were at least 40 lapwings visible from the Washland viewpoint along with two kingfishers. There were also at least six bearded tits showing in Brandon Fen and two water rails were seen from Joist Fen viewpoint.
On Monday, Dave and Suzanne went down the reserve. They saw two bitterns from Joist Fen viewpoint and a common buzzard over the far end of the reserve. Dave also saw two barn owls over Humphrey's Paddock later on in the day.
There was some excitement on Tuesday when a late osprey flew over the reserve. There were also at least two bearded tits showing in front of New Fen viewpoint.
I came down for a little walk on Thursday and was pleased to find reasonable numbers of winter thrushes, as these hadn't reached Bulgaria yet. I saw plenty of redwings and at least two fieldfares which was lovely to see.
There was plenty going on yesterday and a bittern was skulking about at the edge of the visitor centre pond for most of the morning. It disappeared for a while but was then seen swimming across the pool during the afternoon.
What was even more unusual was a kingfisher that perched up on the feeder gantry in front of the visitor centre. If you are wondering why this is so unusual, the visitor centre pond is on the other side of the visitor centre!
What was perhaps an old friend returned yesterday when a great white egret appeared in front of the Washland viewpoint. Whether it was the same bird that was present in July and August we don't know but its great to have one back nonetheless!
We are all hard at work preparing for the Race for Wildlife tomorrow. We hope to see you there!
It's less than a week to go until the Race for Wildlife takes place at the reserve. Cows have been moved, paths straightened up, and goody bags have been filled. All we need now are plenty of runners and a little bit of luck with the weather! So here's a quick run down (!) of the Race for Wildlife that is due to take place on Sunday 19 October!
There will be a two kilometre fun run starting at 10am, which you can run, walk, hop, or skip! You don't need to book for this one, just turn up with a sense of fun and the entry fee (£2.50 for children, but accompanying adults go free!).
For the more serious runners, there are 5 and 10 kilometre courses, that take you round the reserve and past areas that are not usually open to the public. There are still places that you can pre-book (for more details on how to book, just contact the reserve or look up our webpage), or you can turn up on the day (with your £10 registration fee!). The race will start at 11 am, so to ensure everyone gets to the start line for then, registration will close at 10.45 am. Please note that the start line for the 5 and 10 k is a 10 minute walk from the visitor centre. Therefore, please leave plenty of time to get down to the start line after registering.
All runners will receive a goody bag on completion of the race, and there will be a prize for the winner, and medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd men and women.
There will also be home-made cakes for sale on the day!