RSPB Ouse Fen

I’ve mentioned RSPB Ouse Fen a lot over the last few years, it’s a lovely quiet patch of flooded gravel pits, with some woodland, and reedbeds etc, not far from where we live. There are two ways to get to it, one is a lot closer and takes you into the reedbed side of the reserve, the far side is a longer drive and takes you through the more wooded areas. Both are nice, but I tend to favour the reedbed side.

Once bittern – Mrs Sciencebase’s first sighting, about 400m distant

We visited again today, quite a lot of avian activity: Cormorant, Great White Egret, Mute Swan, various ducks and other waterfowl, Snipe (6x), Marsh Harrier (3x), Kestrel (2x), Reed Bunting, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Blue Tit, Common Buzzard, Goldfinch (20x), Linnet (10x), Housemartins (24+) and various waders we could hear but didn’t see.

Great White Egret, about 400 metres distant, calling

Highlight for Mrs Sciencebase was her spotting a Bittern, this is the first time she’s ticked that particular heron, I believe, and was quite pleased to have finally seen one, having heard the males calling several times over the years at this and other places. As with that other heron, the egret, there are several obvious puns to be made, which I’ve done to death over the years. I have no egrets and remember once bittern…etc…

Meanwhile, it’s almost the end of August, temperature has been dropping, winds and rain picking up, and yet still seeing swallows, warblers, housemartins, and even an occasional swift that haven’t yet headed south for the winter. And, of course, there are still Osprey chicks at Rutland Water as I reported last week.