So my final day was to be spent at Lakenheath Reserve.The weather,unlike the previous day ,was a lot cooler with plenty of cloud cover.As I pulled onto the carpark,I was surprised to find I was the only one there!It was only 7.30am as I made my way down the path to the first viewing point.Nice and quiet, just as I like it.Don`t get me wrong,I like company and a good chinwag,but early morning,I do like to be on my own for a few hours.I just love the piece and solitude it offers.Sometimes I just observe, and listen to the goings on,taking it all in.
A few Coot and a Grebe were having a good squabble on the open water in front.Not much else was about!I wandered 400yds further on and heard the honking of the Cranes in the distance,They were on the move as I scanned for them with my glasses,I just caught site of them, as they disappeared over the river and landed amongst the crop fields.The last time I was down here I only caught fleeting glimpses of them in the distance.
Moving on again towards the last viewpoint,a Bearded Tit started zitting in the reeds to my right.I hadn`t seen these the last time I was here,so I froze and made ready with the camera.As if by magic,it suddenly appeared ,pearched on a reed stem, no more than 10yds away.I took a few quick shots before it disappeared out of view.What a bonny little bird I thought!I was quite chuffed at hearing and spotting it, and hoped to come across them again later in the day.
Out towards the river,a Barn Owl glided into view carrying a small field mouse.I followed it low across the meadow.It seemed to be making a bee line for a small building in the corner of the reserve,Walking around the side of the Poplar trees,I could just make it out, perched in the window opening.I was told later that 4 youngsters had fledged and were still in the vicinity of the building,what a fantastic brood.Mind you the habitat was superb for them here!
Whilst having a cup of coffee, another guy came walking down towards the shelter.It was Dave,a local lad I had met on my last visit.He asked me if i`d seen the Cranes.I told him that they flew across the river about 2 hrs ago.Ahh ...thats were they go to feed in the crop fields.Out of the two chicks that had hatched,only 1 was left.The other having been predated by a fox.Sad news indeed I thought!Nature at its worst!They should return back to the pasture shortly, he informed me.
We chatted away for an hour,whilst watching the Marsh Harrier combing the reeds.The Golden Oriole had since dispersed,as had a lot of the juv Harriers.They usually go first, followed by the adults he said.Whilst checking the notice board,Dave shouted` Cranes approaching from the right`.Iwas instantly on the camera, as they flew directly in front of us.Two adults and the juv all present.They landed way out of sight,but I was happy I`d had the opportunity to see them at close quarters.What a marvellous end to my trip to the Fens,I thought,I couldn`t have planned it any better, and am already looking forward to next year, when I will return!