WILLOW TREE FEN LWT
The rarities are great, but there’s so much more
THE RECENT ARRIVAL of a very confiding and longstaying first-winter Bluethroat has put this site well and truly on the map, if the Red-footed Falcon of 2015 hadn’t already done so, but this easy-to-walk reserve always has plenty of interest for the birdwatcher. Its 274 acres of shallow meres, reedbeds, seasonally flooded pastures and hay meadows were created from arable land, and along with the neighbouring River Glen and Counter Drain, attract a wide range of species. These include good wildfowl flocks in winter, especially Wigeon and Teal, plus possible Whooper Swans, as well as waders such as Lapwing, Golden Plover, Redshank, Blacktailed Godwit, Snipe, and rarer species like Ruff, Greenshank and Green Sandpiper, and Fieldfare and Redwing flocks. Little Egrets are usually present here. In spring and summer, look for Lapwings, Sky Larks, Reed and Sedge Warblers, Reed Bunting in spring, plus occasional Kingfisher and regular Marsh Harrier. Other raptors to look for include Buzzard, Kestrel and Red Kite, and Barn Owls use nestboxes here, while Tawny, Little and Short-eared Owls can also be seen, the latter in winter. In summer, Swifts and hirundines are numerous.