I had a visit to RSPB Lakenheath a couple of days ago, in the county of Suffolk.
I took Whisky for an early morning walk, and then set off by myself because unfortunately the RSPB don't allow dogs on their reserves, however well behaved they are, or even on a lead.
I got to the car park as it was still dark; about 7:15 a.m.
I did hope to maybe see a Barn Owl in the field by the car park, but no luck.
As I was getting ready for my walk round the reserve I could hear lots of birds in the distance.I quickly made my way towards the sound, and found thousands of Crows leaving their roosting site. A bit like a noisier Starling murmuration in reverse.
An amazing sight and sound to witness.
After watching them all disperse, I made my way up to New Fen Viewpoint that overlooks one of the reed beds.
A Little Egret in the water, a few Mallards and quite a few Teal; and a distant Grey Heron.
I scanned the tops of the reeds hoping to see a Marsh Harrier.
Not a Marsh Harrier, but a Hen Harrier, slowly gliding over the reed bed.
Luckily enough one of the wardens was there to see it too, and confirm its ID.
Shortly after, two Great White Egrets flew over the reed bed too.
I made my way down the path towards the riverbank, and when I got there, out on the washland pool was two Mute Swans, and three Great White Egrets.
What a great start to the morning.
I carried on along a muddy footpath towards the Joist Fen Viewpoint at the far end of the reserve. In the woods to my left, I spotted a couple of Roe Deer, and over the reed bed a couple of Marsh Harriers.
No luck; and no Bitterns either. I could hear the faint 'pinging' call of Bearded Tits, but no sign of them. There was another Marsh Harrier flying over the reeds though.
I started to make my way down the footpath towards Mere Hide, usually a good spot to find Bearded Tits.
I hadn't gone too far when I heard the unmistakable 'pinging' sound!
A dozen or more working their way through the tops of the reeds at the side of the footpath.
Male Bearded Tit
I took quite a few pictures; after all, it's not that often you get to see these little beauties so close.
Female, male, female
What a fantastic visit.