It's not just the wildlife that can enjoy feasting on the reserve this autumn! The café hatch has been open, serving hot drinks, cake and sausage rolls from 10am to 3pm. Enjoy a refreshment and take a moment to look and listen for the autumn wildlife, whilst sat on one of our lovely new benches, installed by our volunteers before lockdown began. The new Sprat's Water trail takes in a range of habitats: open grazing marsh, wet woodland and the miniature broads of Sprat's Water.
Sat on a bench around the back of Sprat's Water you can listen for the tinkling of goldfinches at the top of the alder trees, perhaps joined by siskins feeding on the small seeds from the alder cones. Sitting and waiting is the best way to see wildlife, you may also spot flocks of redwings and fieldfares passing through, feeding on berries and adding to the sounds of autumn.
Please remember that dogs aren't allowed through Sprat's Water and they must be on a lead across the rest of the nature reserve.
More drone footage of the reserve, taken this November by John Lord as well as Kevin Coote, shows an amazing bird's-eye view of the watery world which has been created here and makes it clear why so many birds are drawn to the reserve.
Along with the large winter flocks of lapwing and duck, we've seen a number of more unusual wetland birds stopping off for a feast. Recent visitors include: glossy ibis, great white egret, curlew sandpiper and scaup.
Another spectacle of autumn are huge flocks of starlings, which create aerial displays known as a murmurations when they come into roost at dusk. Small murmurations are starting to perform their amazing aerobatic displays across the marshes and farmland fields here at Carlton Marshes, but for the most dazzling displays early in the season head to Hen Reedbeds near Southwold at dusk and wait with the gathering crowd of onlookers. The starlings have moved south now, but this local nature reserve has been providing plenty of lockdown positivity for local nature lovers this November. We're crossing our fingers at Carlton Marshes that the starlings will chose to come here next!