Young birds are out on the wing across the Marshes and some are extremely obvious as they make their first blundering flights. Young Marsh Harriers can be seen at Castle and Carlton Marshes with their ginger capped heads, making cautious flights between bushes. It's been a good year for Barn Owl chicks too, with 20 Barn Owl chicks across the boxes on the Waveney reserves. Many of these birds are now flying, so are local Barn Owl population will be bolstered until they move further afield.
As the breeding season ends for the birds it really livens up for the insects. There has been some interesting dragonfly sightings at Carlton, with Vagrant Emperor spotted last week, a rare migrant from Africa and the Middle East and good numbers of another migrant dragonfly, Red-veined Darter. Look out for these as well as our more usual resident species, Norfolk Hawker, Brown Hawker and Black-tailed Skimmer. The Norfolk and Brown Hawkers can be differentiated by the famous green eyes of the Norfolk Hawker, however from afar the colour of the wings can be just as useful. The Norfolk Hawker having clear wings and the Brown Hawker brown. Look out too for the Fen Raft Spider nursery webs which can now be seen dotted across the dykes. Only Fen Raft Spiders build their nursery webs in the middle of the dyke in Water Soldier, the crown-like plant emerging from the water. If you see a web, look for the ball of squirming spiderlings inside and their mother won't be far away watching over them, although she may be hidden from sight perhaps even under the water. Courtship behaviour can be seen as the smaller male spiders approach the larger females, tapping their legs on the water and bobbing their bodies, the females will bob too in response to signal their interest. Head to the bridge on the left of the main track as the first place to start looking for these spider spectacles or if you want more advice on where best to look ask a member of staff.