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  • Blog Post: Hello to Rachel, our new visitor intern!

    Hello all! This is my first blog as the new visitor experience intern at Fairburn Ings. My name is Rachel and I have committed to volunteering here for the next six months. I am looking forward to getting stuck in and sharing my experiences with you over this period. I am originally from Essex and...
  • Blog Post: What a Grey Day....

    What a difference a day makes...Increasing southerly wind and temperatures that felt a lot lower than yesterday resulted in a quarter of the footfall today but the change in wind direction did spice things up a little as we had hoped with six tiny little Sand Martins careening through with the wind up...
  • Blog Post: Comings and Goings

    Come on Spring! Pull your finger out! Today it almost happened... the air was warmer, the sun came out unexpectedly and there was no breeze or hardly any clouds. The hoped for sprinkle of migrants never happened and we are still awaiting our first Wheatear, Sand Martin and Little Ringed Plover but some...
  • Blog Post: Recent Bird Sightings - February/March 2016

    The big story so far of 2016 has undoubtedly been the very early return of a little ringed plover. First spotted on Monday 22 February, it was the first to be seen in the Midlands and possibly the whole of the UK. This is the earliest, by far, that one has reached us, normally arriving around mid March...
  • Blog Post: The first week in March....

    Apologies for the paucity of 'recent sightings' type blogs of late. Been a bit bogged down with other stuff so here is a little summary of some of the current highlights. Winter is morphing slowly into spring and although the weather has not changed to any noticeable degree, there has been...
  • Media: Kingfisher, Fowlmere - 27 August 2015

  • Media: Kingfisher at Fen hide

    Female Kingfisher at Fen Hide
  • Blog Post: Sunny half-term sightings

    I can't believe how fantastic the weather is at the moment - just in time for half-term. Why not bring your family along to have a go at our Giving Nature a Home self-led trail as well as lots of other exciting activities in The Holt. We've got plenty of wonderful wildlife for you to come and...
  • Blog Post: For love of Fairburn - Kate

    Cupid will be hard at work this weekend and since 'tis the season, several of the staff here on the reserve have decided to share just what it is about Fairburn they love so much. Here is our Visitor Operations Manager, Kate: <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3<3 <3 <3...
  • Blog Post: Recent sightings: that woodpecker is drumming!

    Reed bunting sightings have exploded this week, there is at least one pair that has been regularly seen at the wildlife garden feeders, and we’ve had some lovely views of them from the office windows! Male reed bunting, Andy Hay (rspb-images.com) Each week we get one or two recorded sightings...
  • Blog Post: A warming winter fire(crest)

    The two firecrests that have taken up winter residence around Scotts Hall and the Rhododendron Tunnel continue to attract a lot of interest - for those lucky enough to actually see them. Frustratingly, they seem to avoid the attentions of most of our volunteers, despite many visitors having had good...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings 1st-31st January 2016

    The start of a new year is often viewed as a new start. While we may not be able to wipe all things from the past, here at the reserve we can at least clear the species list and look forward to compiling the new one. By the end of last year we had recorded a total of 118 bird species for the reserve...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 5 February 2016

    This week has been mostly dry, mild and earlier in the week very windy. The star bird this week was the Siberian chiffchaff , which returned briefly on Saturday and Sunday along the riverbank. The bird stayed long enough for a few people to see it and then it was gone, until I heard it again in...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings: A kingfisher down on his luck

    It has been a fantastic week for birds of prey again with the marsh harrier out at about almost every day, visible from both Lin Dike and Pick-up. Also from Lin Dike there have been buzzard, peregrine and sparrowhawk seen. A sparrowhawk and buzzard down near Charlie’s, a couple of red kite over...
  • Media: Waiting patiently

  • Media: Kingfisher waiting

  • Blog Post: Icy blasts and wintery weather!

    8th January. Rained most of the day but still cold.. There had been snow showers overnight on high ground: looking across the Solway, the Scottish hills were snow-capped. There was a flurry of garden birds eager to top up from the feeders. An interesting article appeared in Birdguides: British...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings: First Signs of Spring

    Signs of spring are popping up around the reserve, hawthorn has already been spotted coming into flower, and this week we had our first snowdrop sighting in the grass by the visitor centre. Skylarks have been seen on the stacks and around the Lin Dike link a few times, and they have also been heard singing...
  • Blog Post: It's your turn to start counting

    I often write in these blogs about counting Minsmere's wildlife, whether for breeding bird surveys, roost counts or simply counts based on observations from our volunteer guides. For example, our guides have been diligently counting lapwings this week, with more than 500 present on the Scrape. Now...
  • Blog Post: Getting the oxygen pumping

    After another beautiful sunny morning, I decided to wander down to Island Mere at lunchtime. I hoped that I may manage to find an otter, kingfisher, bearded tit or water rail to add to my year list, but sadly I was unlucky with all four species. I was, however, able to watch a group of six whooper...
  • Blog Post: Bitterns and barn owls

    The water level is finally beginning to drop! Hoorah! And all the paths are now open on the reserve. You will still need waterproof boots to get around some parts and wellies to get down to Lower hide, but most of the paths are thankfully now clear of water! There’s loads to see out on the reserve...
  • Forum Thread: Kingfisher delight!

    After several fleeting visits over the last few months we were thrilled today when a stunning specimen landed on the pergola in our garden to survey our pond below. It actually stayed for 30 seconds which was long enough for me to take a few photos :)
  • Blog Post: Unsettled end to December.

    23rd December. Stormy conditions with a very strong SW wind blowing all night. The wind had not abated by the morning and continued most of the day - interspersed with hail showers. Certainly a lot colder! At 9 am small groups of Barnacles started to trickle by, flooded off their roosts further...
  • Blog Post: The surprises continue

    Hot on the heels on my two butterfly sightings on Monday, there have been further notable sightings this week. Perhaps the most surprising was the three spoonbills that dropped onto East Scrape on Wednesday. Although common visitors in spring, winter records of spoonbill are rare. We assume these were...
  • Blog Post: More goodies

    We have had some more good sightings since the fun of New Year's Day. On the 2nd a raven flew over the car park; this is a species we wouldn't expect to see. A bittern flew past Reedbed Hide at 16.34 on the 5th, presumably the same bird that was present earlier in the winter. Also a woodcock...