Thursday, 14 May 2015

Lakenheath Fen in Search of Hobbys

4th May 2015

A nice sunny day during the first week of May so time for a visit to Lakenheath Fen to try and photograph the Hobbys. Obviously everyone else had the same idea as when I pulled into the car park at 10.00am it was almost full. However, Lakenheath is such a vast reserve that even this number of people soon get lost along the numerous tracks.

I had only just got 2 yards out of the visitor centre onto the verandah overlooking the pool when I was stopped in my tracks by a singing Garden Warbler, the first that I have ever heard here away from the poplar plantations. It was sitting partially obscured in a nearby tree when luckily it flew to the other end of the verandah and perched high in an Alder, giving a much better view in good light. What a good start to the day.

New Fen was very quiet so I went straight on to Joist Fen where all the action was taking place. Bitterns were booming and Marsh Harriers were wafting around over the reed bed although, typically, all down the far end. A Common Tern would occasionally visit the pool in front of the shelter providing some superb opportunities for flight shots.

However, the business today was to try and photograph the Hobbys that pass through Lakenheath on their spring migration. Today there were at least 20 birds, all planing around in the sky like overgrown Swifts. As for the Marsh harriers they were concentrated down the western end of the fen but occasionally, whether they lost their bearings or were following the insects, would all drift eastwards and end up over the shelter to the accompaniment of much clicking of shutters.

So "Mission Accomplished" and what a fantastic day, but not all over just yet. On my way back to the visitor centre I managed to bump into my old chum Alan Guilford, he of the dashing round North Norfolk fame. Not only a year tick, but a DECADE TICK!!

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