A fairly pleasant week of weather for the most part, with Westerly winds taking hod for the majority of the week.
The highlights from this week has been the continued flock of bearded tits showing well from Sandy Wall and Fen Hide. Fairly regular bittern flights have been seen across the reserve, kingfishers have continued to show, but slightly less regularly due to the strong winds causing too many ripples in front of the hides, they are still present in the sheltered spots though. Snipe numbers have slowly increased in front of Fen and Tower Hide, small flocks of pink-footed geese have been seen flying over the fen too.
Wildfowl numbers have built up quite well in front of Tower Hide, with 100 teal, 30 wigeon, 52 gadwall as well as smaller numbers of mallard and shoveler.
Other noteworthy species include a pair of stonechat from Fen Hide a red kite on Tuesday as well as small numbers of marsh harrier floating about the fen. The tit flocks are still roaming through the wooded areas, with a lot of long tailed tits, blue tits, great tits, a couple of chiffchaffs and small numbers of goldcrests within them….still no yellow browed warbler, but there is still hope!
Visible migration stepped up a notch this week, particularly on Monday after a brief Northerly blow. Redwings were arriving in small but regular flocks as well as a couple of brambling, siskin and goldfinches apparently on the move, throughout the week good numbers of skylark and meadow pipits have also been passing overhead.
At Buckenham, the little stint was last seen on Sunday 8th, dunlin, ruff, red kite, pink-footed geese and a couple of early white-fronts have also been seen.
In the sunny periods throughout the week we have seen a good number of insects still thriving, willow emeralds, migrant hawkers and common darters are still in evidence, as are red admiral and peacock butterflies, a large white even flew past the office on Friday, which feels a little late.
The flood water of last week has subsided and a large amount of the salty water has been let out of the fen via our sluices, this has meant that the water level is back where it should be at this time of the year. The paths have taken a slightly earlier than usual soaking as parts were under a foot of water for most of last week, that said, the majority of paths are still in a decent condition. We are getting towards the time when stout footwear/wellingtons are recommended if you plan to do the fen trail. The ex-tropical storm looks like it may head north past Ireland and over the top of Scotland, if this does happen, then we are likely to flood at times next week due to the increased volume of water in the North sea, so check reserve signs/tide tables before coming.
The roadworks are still happening underneath the rail bridge in Brundall, so please follow the diversion, it may also be best to check a map before travelling as several people have reported problems with the signage on the diversion, allow at least 10 minutes extra to get to the fen by car, bicycle/pedestrian access is still possible underneath the rail bridge.
The weather is looking very nice for the weekend and early part of next week so come and enjoy the sites, smells and sounds of autumn on the reserve.