Good afternoon. Here are some recent sightings from the reserve:
Bittern – Multiple territorial males booming from Cuckoo Fen and one from Cuckoo Fen North. Dawn and dusk are the best time to hear and see these birds although if they get mouths to feed they will become much more visible as spring progresses. Keep watching the air immediately above the reeds for a large, brownish bird shaped like a stocky heron (but without the bowed wings).
Marsh harriers –Two pairs nest-building on Cuckoo Fen one pair on Cuckoo Fen North (31/3/17). These big, impressive raptors are well worth the walk to go and see and usually show well from the trail next to Cuckoo Fen. Morning visits usually see more activity as well.
Bearded tits – They’re about, as evidenced by the ‘ping’ calls heard from the canal and Cuckoo Fen as you walk along the reedbed trail although the recent windy conditions have tended to make them less conspicuous
Cetti’s warblers – Many in full song although a few still warming up. You’ll be lucky to see one of these scrub-dwellers but the maturing grey willow in Cuckoo Fen makes this the best place to hear them.
Sedge warblers – have started to arrive (1/4/17), listen for a prolonged, varied and chattering song (often with mimicry) from amongst the reeds and other long vegetation near water. Watch for song flights early in the season where the male sings whilst circling at a modest height before parachuting down.
Garganey – two drakes seen on Berry Fen (29/3/17).
Merlin – Male seen along Long Fen Drove and grass west of Cuckoo Fen (20/3/17). This small falcon with a blue-grey back (the female has a brown back) was filling up on small birds before heading north.
We hope to see you on the reserve soon!