Lakenheath Fen

Lakenheath Fen

Lakenheath Fen
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Lakenheath Fen

  • 4 October recent sightings: Chilly mornings, sunny days

    Good morning. Although we have had some chilly (and foggy!) mornings recently, we have seen plenty of sunshine which is very welcome at this time of year!

    I will begin with a brief detour back to two weeks ago when Harpenden Photographic Society came for a walk around the reserve with Steve, one of our volunteers. 

    They kindly sent us some of the photos that they took on the day. We hope you like them:

    Joist Fen viewpoint:

    Little Ouse River:

    Image credits: Harpenden Photographic Society

    Joist Fen viewpoint:

    Little Ouse River north of Joist Fen viewpoint:

    The Washland:

    Image credits: Shelagh Collingwood

    Thank you very much to Harpenden Photographic Society for sharing these great images with us.

    There was plenty to see on Friday including an obliging kingfisher that was fishing in the visitor centre pond. Bearded tits were showing very well at the Washland viewpoint and an otter was photographed at New Fen viewpoint. 

    A group of five cranes were also seen from Joist Fen viewpoint during the afternoon. This was most likely to be the pair that we know as “Little & Large” with their youngsters plus two associated hangers on. Our first peregrine of this winter period was reported over the car park and a hobby was tearing around the sky over the visitor centre just before we closed.

    A treecreeper was calling in the fog behind the visitor centre yesterday morning. Once the fog had lifted, three common buzzards were circling over the car park.

    Volunteer Roy spent some time down at Joist Fen viewpoint in the afternoon. He saw two marsh harriers, a common buzzard and a kingfisher. A grey wagtail was also feeding in front of the viewpoint, which is a good reserve record.

    I went for a walk this morning and I saw presumably the same grey wagtail from yesterday over the Washland viewpoint. A flock of 16 lapwings were circling overhead and a common snipe also flew over.

    As I walked along the riverbank, a flock of bearded tits were calling north of the river and a meadow pipit flew over. As I walked alongside East Wood, there were still plenty of marbled orb weavers and garden spiders to admire.

    Another group of bearded tits were calling in front of New Fen viewpoint and a lesser redpoll flew over. I met Dave, our Site Manager just after I left the viewpoint. He spent some time at the viewpoint and saw a flying bittern.

    Shortly after we opened the visitor centre, a kingfisher was fishing in the visitor centre pond and a treecreeper was singing behind the visitor centre.

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



  • 2 October recent sightings: The gloves are on!

    Good morning. As Katherine mentioned in her blog post from last week, I have been away in sunnier climes. I therefore had to put my hat and gloves on when I ventured out on the reserve for the first time yesterday morning!

    I will try and pick things up where Katherine left off but I will start by sharing some great pictures that Matt Walton took here while I was away:

    Bearded tits:

    Great white egret:

    The Washland:

    Image credits: Matt Walton

    Thank you very much to Matt for sharing these great pictures with us.

    A great white egret was on the washland on 26 September along with an otter. The osprey was also seen for the last time from the Washland viewpoint. 

    The great white egret was again present on the washland on 27 September along with presumably the same otter. A bittern was also seen from the Washland viewpoint. 

    Three buzzards were over the visitor centre on 29 September along with two hobbys. A great white egret was also on the washland.

    Also of interest, my father and I went to Burwell Fen, which is part of Wicken Fen NNR on 30 September. Three very familiar cranes flew over, which turned out to be one of the pairs that nested here this year along with their youngster. It was good to see them and nice to know that they aren’t too far away.

    I went for a walk down to New Fen viewpoint yesterday morning and I saw a kingfisher whizzing along the river. A chiffchaff was singing in the big willow near the visitor centre along with a Cetti’s warbler. A lesser redpoll also flew over New Fen viewpoint.

    As the day went on, a great white egret was seen from the Washland viewpoint. Two juvenile hobbys were seen from New Fen viewpoint and a bittern was seen from Mere Hide.

    I went for a walk around Brandon Fen this morning and there were two goldcrests flitting around. One was singing which was nice to hear. A chiffchaff was also singing nearby and a marsh tit was calling at the end of the ramp.

    I spent some time at the Washland viewpoint and a lesser redpoll flew over. A flock of 13 lapwings were swirling around and a common snipe also flew over.

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

  • On your marks...get set.....

    Our annual Race for Wildlife is now a mere few weeks away and the countdown is officially on!

    For those that haven’t heard about this event, it is your chance to run, jog or walk around the reserve taking in the beautiful scenery and wildlife of Lakenheath. Maybe spotting a bittern, bearded tit or otter as you go...

    Photo credit - Dave Rogers

    There’s something for all runners (or walkers!) out there; multi-terrain course of 5km and 10km, the latter taking you through parts of the reserve normally closed to the public - a great chance to experience a different side of the reserve.

    For those looking for a shorter distance and perhaps something a little less strenuous, there is also a 2km fun run around the Brandon Fen family trail – perfect for the whole family to do together.

    If this hasn’t tempted you yet, there will also be medals for the top three runners in each race, goody bags for all those that enter and (perhaps most importantly!) homemade cakes and refreshments available.

    All this takes place on Sunday 18 October, for more details have a look here or call the office on 01842 863400.

    So, with the race soon approaching the whole Lakenheath team have been busy preparing for the big day:

    Suzanne and I have been creative making medals...


    John has been putting the goody bags together...


    All photos - Katherine Puttick

    Whilst we may be racing to raise money for wildlife here on the reserve – you can run as fast as you like or simply enjoy the walk round the reserve – whichever way you decide to go for there’ll be staff and volunteers cheering you along the way!

    See you on the 18th!