15th of May 2016 – Coventry & Warwickshire RSPB Group Trip to RSPB Lakenheath Fen.

Having missed some of the trips this season with commitments to surveying and wildlife officer weekends, I was looking forward to joining the company of fellow RSPB members on a trip to RSPB Lakenheath Fen which is situated near the village of Brandon in Suffolk. Ironically, many on the coach are regulars at a certain other reserve near a village called Brandon!

I left home in glorious sunshine after scraping a light covering of ice from the windscreen to make my way to Coventry to catch the coach at 07:00am. The coach left on time and as before the banter with the regulars was good spirited.

Arriving at RSPB Lakenheath Fen we all made our way off to explore the reserve.

Highlights of the day go to seven superb bird species that were seen throughout the day.

Firstly five Cuckoos were seen during the day with one female watched for some considerable time as it surveyed the reeds from its perch high in a tree.

Female Cuckoo
  It made many attempts to drop in to the reeds to what we all presumed was to lay an egg in either a Reed or Sedge Warblers nest?

Female Cuckoo over reed beds
 Whilst sitting overlooking the main lake, a drake Garganey and a Kingfisher were going about their business at the top end of the lake. Hearing booming Bittern, it wasn’t long before we had two sightings of two of them moving over the reeds.

As we walked around the reserve a total of six Marsh Harriers made an appearance, both female and male birds and a single Peregrine was seen high above footpath.

By far the most impressive bird of the day was that of the stunningly beautiful Hobby.I managed a total of twenty seven birds and following a few conversations later on, there were many more than that!

After lunch a walk along the dyke separating the reserve from the Little Ouse River gave up two Little Egrets and plenty of Greylag geese in the surrounding fields.

One of two Little Egrets

 This was the last trip for the season and I'm looking forward to more later in the year.

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