Lackford Run and the River Path (up to the end of Sandy Wall) are currently closed due to flooding - please note this means there is no access to Tower Hide at this time. As soon as the river level starts to lower and we can let water off the fen we will open the paths. Unfortunately they are just too wet and treacherous at the moment!
Sandy Wall and the woodland trail are open. Fen and Reception hides are both open.
Here are some sightings from the last few days:
Hen harrier - both males and females have been seen over the last few days.
Waxwing - small groups are still being reported at Strumpshaw Fen and also in the carpark at Buckenham.
Meadow and water pipit - daily reports from around Strumpshaw Fen, Buckenham and Cantley reserves.
Common buzzard was seen on 9 December at Strumpshaw.
Otter - continuing to delight visitors with daily sightings.
Kingfisher - daily sightings.
Marsh harrier - daily sightings.
Other recent sightings include siskin, snipe, goldcrest, gadwall, weasel, kestrel, nuthatch, treecreeper, peregrine falcon, sparrowhawk, bearded tits, chinese water deer, redpoll and woodcock.
The below sightings have been kindly supplied by M Chipperfield.
Avian observations at Strumpshaw Fen on 8/12/12
Marsh Harrier 1 fem/juv
Water Rail 3+
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Marsh Tit 2+
Bearded Tit 6+
Cetti's Warbler 3+
Reed Bunting 6+
Avian observations at Buckenham Marshes on 8/12/12
Mute Swan 19
Taiga Bean Goose 31+
Greylag Goose 13
Canada Goose 133 + 1 hybrid
Barnacle Goose 77 + 2 hybrid Ross's/Snow Goose types
Egyptian Goose 2
Grey Heron 4
Marsh Harrier 1 fem/juv
Hen Harrier 1 ringtail
Kestrel 2 (1 male)
Peregrine 1 male
Golden Plover 9+
Common Snipe 6+
Bearded Tit 8+
Cetti's Warbler 5+ (3 males)
Pied Wagtail 3
Meadow Pipit 6+
Water Pipit 1
Reed Bunting 10+
Avian observations at Cantley Marshes on 8/12/12
Mute Swan 3
Whooper Swan 1
Tundra Bean Goose 3
Pink-footed Goose 256+
Eurasian White-fronted Goose 60+
Greylag Goose 8
Canada Goose 22
Egyptian Goose 14
Little Egret 1
Grey Heron 1
Little Grebe 1+ calling
Marsh Harrier 2 fem/juvs
Water Rail 1
Golden Plover 2,110+
Common Snipe 1+
Bearded Tit 12+
Cetti's Warbler 9+ (6 males)
Pied Wagtail 2
Water Pipit 1
Reed Bunting 24+
Trail conditions - all trails are open at the moment but with the usual cautions regarding mud and water on Lackford Run in place. However if we experience flooding we will close any trails affected. If you would like to check the trail conditions before you visit please call us on 01603 715 191. Please remember to turn back immediately if you encounter flooding on any of the paths.
3 Lapland buntings flew over the reserve on 28 November, heading west from the Tower Hide.
Waxwings are still being seen on the reserve, though in smaller groups than in recent weeks.
Otters - daily sightings all over the reserve
Wigeon - lots of these lovely winter birds being seen at Strumpshaw, Buckenham and Cantley reserves.
Water and meadow pipit are still being seen around the reserve.
Buzzard - once a rare and unusual sighting in this part of the world but being seen more and more regularly in recent years. This particular bird was seen on 28/11/12
Barnacle, white-fronted and pink-footed geese can all be seen at Buckenham and Cantley, with the bean geese hidden in amongst them.
Whooper swan - seen at Strumpshaw on 01/12/2012
Peregrine - regular sightings at Buckenham
Sightings from the last week have also included brambling, bullfinch, siskin, bearded tits, treecreeper, goldcrest, redshank, long tailed tits and a little grebe.
Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 January is Big Garden Birdwatch Weekend and the local RSPB team will be at the Forum in Norwich celebrating the fantastic wildlife of your gardens and Broadland. There will be children’s art, crafts, storytelling and hands-on family fun galore, and its all free so put this date in your diary now.
Over the weekend we will be displaying a wall of images of local wildlife and natural landscapes and WE NEED YOUR PHOTOS to fill it! We want to see your best images of wildlife or landscape from your garden or your favourite places in Broadland.
So dig out your finest pics or better still dust off your camera, get outdoors (or just lean out of your window) and get snapping. If you can ignore the grotty weather some fantastic winter wildlife is out there waiting for you - the berry-munching waxwings, grey seals pups on Horsey beach or the hungry birds in your garden.
To get your photos to us please either email images files one at a time (no more than 4 MB per email please) to firstname.lastname@example.org or get a disk to us at the RSPB Strumpshaw office http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/s/strumpshawfen/directions.aspx or FAO Aggie at Norwich RSPB office http://www.rspb.org.uk/about/offices/england/easternengland.aspx (no prints please – we will print them nice and big). Either way, please let us know your name, age (if under 18) and the city/town/village you live in.
And of course you can take part in Big Garden Birdwatch 2013 by counting the birds in your garden - to find out how see www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.
Lackford Run is flooded in parts due to the heavy rainfall we've had. Please avoid Lackford Run or if you do go down there please turn back immediately if you encounter flooding.
Starlings - our autumn visitors have decided not to grace us with their presence much since I last saw them! Unfortunately our flock seems to have found better roosting grounds as we haven't had many at all over the last few evenings.
Hen harriers - keep an eye out as these birds pass through and roost at Strumpshaw. If you see a hen harrier please do let the volunteer in Reception Hide know, or write it on a sightings sheet in either Fen or Tower Hide.
Waxwings - a solitary bird has been seen this morning. Sightings have been less regular for the last few days but they are still about!
Otters - visitors were treated to an hour-long show of an otter fishing and feeding in the 'fish refuge' (aka big pile of twigs) in the broad just outside the Reception Hide last week! Sightings are still regular.
Kingfishers are still being seen daily with some fantastic views of them hovering outside Reception Hide being reported.
Bittern sightings are still regular - these fantastic birds are particularly easy to see at this time of year as winter migrants join our resident population and they venture out of the reeds to hunt for food.
Bean geese - can be seen at Cantley, but you need to really hunt them out with a telescope or binoculars! They are currently mixed in with the pink-footed geese.
Wigeon - large numbers of wigeon can be seen at Buckenham.
Rooks - as the weather gets colder, the spectacle grows greater! Visit Buckenham train station at dusk to witness thousands and thousands of corvids flying in to roost. Please stand in the RSPB car park next to the station to witness the event in order to reduce the disturbance to local residents. We ask visitors to not use flash photography or torches when the birds are flying in to roost as it can disturb them.
Other recent sightings from the last few days include siskin, brambling, goldcrest, fieldfare, mistle thrush, water rails (one was seen swimming this morning which is an unusual sighting) and nuthatches (still being seen on the feeders).
Roost watch results at Strumpshaw Fen on 22/11/2012 (M. Chipperfield)
Grey Heron 1
Marsh Harrier 11 (1 first winter male) pre-roost
Merlin 1 fem/juv
Marsh Tit 2+
Common Starling 841+
Song Thrush 1+
Pied Wagtail 1+
Water Pipit 11
Lesser Redpoll 11
Reed Bunting 13+
Hello all, apologies for not blogging sooner! Here is a bumper recent sightings blog to make it up to you all.
All trails are open now but the river path near Tower Hide is incredibly slippery and muddy, as is Lackford Run.
Bitterns - we had 8 sightings today from Reception Hide alone which really shows you how easy these birds are to see at this time of year.
Starlings - yes they're back! They must have been waiting for the temperature to drop as we now have 3-4,000 starlings coming in to roost in the reeds outside Reception Hide.
Otters sightings haven't been as regular as they were a week or two ago but they're still popping up here and there.
Waxwings seem to have moved on to better feeding grounds now that they have stripped the last berries from Strumpshaw's bushes! Keep an eye on supermarket carparks for these fancy little chaps.
Kingfishers are continuing to be seen daily from all hides.
Hen harriers are now being seen flying over the reserve. Lots of visitors are being duped at the moment by a deceptive escaped harris hawk however! If you think you've seen a hen harrier with bells and jesses (leather straps hanging from its feet) then I'm afraid it's our resident escapee rather than a hen harrier!
Water rails are squealing all over the place at the moment.
Nuthatches are still visiting our feeders regularly/
Since the 16th of November we have had sightings of hawfinch, mealy redpoll, snipe, jack snipe (at Tower Hide), tawny and barn owls, water pipit, siskin, goldeneye, sparrowhawk, reed bunting and a goldcrest.
Buckenham and Cantley sightings from 18/11/2012
Rooks are still building in numbers and it is already a pretty impressive spectacle when they come in to roost.
Golden plover - 3,500
Ruff - 60
Curlew - 70
Black-tailed godwits - 40
Pink-footed geese - 960
Egyptian geese - 80
Peregrine - 1
Canada geese - 80
White fronted geese - 87
Snipe - 50
Tower Hide roost watch sightings from 14/11/12
Little grebe 3
Marsh harrier 19 (4 males)
Hen harrier 1 fem/juv (most likely the regular 2nd year female)
Sparrowhawk 1 fem/juv
Kestrel 1 male/juv
Water rail 22+ heard calling
Jack snipe 1
Common snipe 37+
Marsh tit 2+
Bearded tit 8+
Cetti's warbler 9 males
Song thrush 3+
Pied wagtail 11+
Meadow pipit heard calling
Water pipit 6
Lesser redpoll 6+
Mealy redpoll 1
Reed bunting 17+
Many thanks to M.Chipperfield for these roost-watch survey results