Clas­sic broad­land reedbed birds, plus great wild­fowl

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - JOHN MILES

STRUMPSHAW FEN WAS one of the early RSPB re­serves on its pur­chase in 1974. It is in the Broads Na­tional Park, six miles away from Norwich. It is a mixed habi­tat with the River Yare at one end with in­ten­sive reedbeds, open wa­ter, graz­ing marshes and carr adding to the va­ri­ety. It’s well-known for its reedbed birds, with Bit­tern and Bearded Tits breeding and Marsh Har­rier ar­riv­ing af­ter be­com­ing ex­tinct as a breeder in Bri­tain. Cetti’s War­blers have be­come per­ma­nent res­i­dents as they march north, along with Lit­tle Egret and oc­ca­sional drop-ins by Great White Egret, Glossy Ibis and also Lit­tle Bit­tern. Wild­fowl are plen­ti­ful, with Garganey in spring and plenty of Teal and Wi­geon in win­ter. A har­rier roost in win­ter can add Hen Har­rier to your visit, along with a Star­ling roost bring­ing Spar­rowhawk and Pere­grine to the re­serve, with Barn Owl hunt­ing the Star­lings at night. More than 23 species of dragonfly have been recorded, mak­ing a late spring visit ideal for watch­ing from the tower hide for Hobby hunt­ing them. Ot­ter, Great Crested Grebe and Kingfisher en­joy the fish and even an evening song of Spot­ted Crake is pos­si­ble. But­ter­flies in­clude the Swal­low­tail feed­ing on Milk Pars­ley around the re­serve.

Hen Har­rier


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