Good afternoon. Although we have had some changeable weather over the last couple of days, there has still been plenty to see here so here are some more recent sightings:
Shortly after I posted my blog post from Monday, local photographer Martin Peake send over some pictures of bearded tits that he had taken on the reserve earlier on in the day. Here is one of them, that was taken between New Fen viewpoint and Mere Hide:
Image credit: Martin Peake
Thank you very much to Martin for sharing this image with us.
I spent some time up at the Washland viewpoint before work on Tuesday morning and saw the following:
While I was up there, at least 20 lesser redpolls flew east overhead and about a dozen redwings were perched at the edge of the car park.
As the morning went on, a kingfisher was feeding at the edge of the visitor centre pond and a goldcrest was feeding in front of the visitor centre. There was some excitement at lunchtime when local bird ringer Simon heard and saw a willow tit in Brandon Fen. Sadly, it wasn't around for long and it soon disappeared. It may well still be in the area though so fingers crossed it will reappear soon!
I came in on my day off yesterday afternoon to run the 5k route of our Race for Wildlife, which takes place on Sunday. On the way round, I saw a common buzzard in Brandon Fen and heard several goldcrests on my travels.
At least one roe deer was on the entrance track as I drove in this morning. Although I didn't have much time out on the reserve this morning, I did find a probable first for the reserve... some fly agaric fungi!:
Image credits: David White
It was at the base of a silver birch tree art the "visitor centre" edge of the car park. If you come looking for it, please view it from a reasonable distance as we want as many people to see it as possible. Please also bear in mind that this species is very poisonous if consumed so it needs to be treated with respect.
Volunteer Steve saw a great white egret on the pool by Wilton Bridge as he drove in this morning. He went up to the Washland viewpoint shortly after he arrived and saw:
As the morning has gone on, bearded tits have been showing well in the sunshine on the approach to Mere Hide and a grey wagtail made a brief appearance at the edge of the visitor centre pond. Suzanne also saw a small copper butterfly around Brandon Fen at lunchtime.
If you are planning to visit the reserve this weekend, please note that our Race for Wildlife will take place on Sunday. As the event is fully booked with around 150 people taking part, the reserve is likely to be very busy in the morning. If you are planning to visit on Sunday, we would recommend either getting here early or in the afternoon (.i,e. after 2pm) to ensure that you can find a parking space)
Additionally, please note that the riverbank Public Footpath is currently a bit muddy in places so we would recommend wearing boots to negotiate this patth.
We hope to see you soon!