Wednesday, 1 April 2015

A Late March Visit to Lakenheath Fen

22nd March 2015

Late March was always going to be a bit optimistic for Lakenheath but there was always the chance of a Bittern, Marsh Harrier or Bearded Tit. So off I set with cousin Rosemary and the action started almost immediately with a number of Reed Buntings buzzing around the feeders by the visitor centre. Luckily there are a number of trees around the feeders so plenty of opportunity for them to perch and have a look around before having a feed.

Next stop was The Wash which was fairly quite apart from the long-staying Great White Egret. These birds used to create a lot of excitement when they first started appearing on our shores but I suspect that in 5-10 years they will be as part of our flora and fauna as the now well-established Little Egret.

I suppose the greatest surprise of the day was the two birds that were sitting on the far bank of the Little Ouse as we walked along the river bank towards New Fen. Just a pair of Mute Swans you would have assumed until I scanned my binoculars across them only to find that they were in fact a pair of Whooper Swans. There had been up to 40 Whoopers feeding in the fields north of the river but I didn't expect any to be sitting on the river bank. How good is that!!

Up at the Joist Fen viewing platform there were a couple of extremely distant Common Cranes and a number of harriers floating around but all too distant for any photos. However, just before left a Water Rail emerged from the reeds to the right of the viewpoint and proceeded to feed in the open but, unfortunately, always slightly obscured. Still a great performance though.

However, today the star of the show was a Mink which swam across a pool between the river and the river wall with its nose tilted distinctly upwards. This not a good sign as in my experience if you don't see Mink you probably have them, and if you do see Mink you probably have a serious problem.

Well, what a superb morning, and now on to Lackford Lakes.

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