May 2022 (more):
Blue tits and Great tits crammed the boxes while summer visiting birds were still arriving. Overhead Swifts called at the same time as Swallows arrived.
In the short heath grass, a lizard was spotted.
In memory of Pam Smith
A quick check of some of the nest boxes revealed 12 already had nest building going on. Two nests were ready for eggs. Just in time for Easter!
There were 2 Snipe and a curlew which will be incredible of they attempt to breed. A Woodcock flushed from under a bramble. The floor was covered in leaf litter and looked good as a nesting site. Perhaps it was this same bird on the 3rd December 2021.
4 Teal may also be looking to nest while a fox was on the prowl and the Badgers had been changing the bedding in one of their setts.
No pictures are permitted by NE but what I will do is substitute photos from elsewhere as the season progresses.
Here is a picture of new blue tit eggs in a nestbox, Ashwicken -but just off the fen so we comply with NE. Safe to include on the website.
On what at times felt like a spring day, I completed the first year tranch of nest boxes. There are now 41 across the woods and fen. Sometimes I find all the boxes get used and there is a need for more.
The fen is proving its value even in winter with at least three different Marsh harriers using it. Flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare roost and good numbers of Woodcock hide up during the day. The highest count so far is 5 on one visit.
Little Egret and Water rail are using the wet ditches and Pink-footed geese in their hundreds skein overlooking for feeding places.
This small piece of ancient fen has been designated a conservation area.At dawn or dusk, you may be lucky enough to see some deer as they leave the woods to feed. That snuffling in the grass may well be a hedgehog but there are squirrels here too. In the hedgerows, amongst the wild rose and honeysuckle are nesting birds and you will also see bird boxes placed here among the trees. These are monitored as part of a special project.
In the wood, you will see long-tailed tits, blue tits, robins, blackbirds, thrushes and hear the wrens chattering. That sound, like laughing, may well be a “yaffler”, the Norfolk name for a Green Woodpecker. There are also Great Spotted Woodpeckers to be seen. We are also lucky to have barn owls locally and you may spot them as they hunt across the fields on their silent wings. On the fen, there are Kestrels and Sparrowhawks and on occasion Harriers. Common blue butterflies can be seen in season as well as Speckled woods, Commas, and Gatekeepers. When visiting the site please remember the country code. Leave gates and property as you find them. Protect plants and animals and take litter home. Remember to keep dogs under control – there are deer and livestock hidden in the trees.