Classic broadland reedbed birds, plus great wildfowl
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.