Trip reports

Visit to Lakenheath Fen

Visit to Lakenheath Fen
Looking east towards Joist Fen viewpoint [Photo: Peter Berrill]

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Arriving at nine-thirty we met up with our old friend Norman Sills, the former warden of Lakenheath Fen and before that Titchwell Marsh. Norman is at present advising the Brandon Marsh Voluntary Conservation Team with the construction of Alban's Reedbed, formerly Newlands.

The staff in the Visitor Centre informed us that black terns had been seen from the Washland viewpoint so we made that our first port of call. Unfortunately the terns were just passing through so we carried on towards New Fen coming into contact with our first of several cuckoo during the day.

Moving on towards Joist Fen we paused before reaching Trial Wood to scan the fields opposite on the other side of the railway track. Norman thought we might get the chance of seeing a crane grazing there. Alas, only Canada geese but flying about within a couple metres in front of us, hairy dragonfly!

Arriving at Joist Fen we met up with another RSPB Local Group and enjoyed the spectacle of twenty-seven hobby in the air at the same time. Marsh harrier were very active including a food pass and a pair of bearded tit flitted about.

Norman found us a crane emerging from the reedbed and all had good views.

After lunch we walked the Public Footpath between the River Little Ouse and Joist Fen and Norman explained how the reedbed had been constructed.

Several members of the group in advance of us were incredibly lucky to witness six bittern in the air at the same time from near the position in the above image.

We managed at least two bittern ourselves before it was time to head back to the Visitor Centre and an ice cream.

A most enjoyable finale to our Season of Field Trips and many thanks go to Norman Sills for sharing his expertise with us.

Peter and Lesley Berrill