Weekly Wild news from our reserves - 8 January 2021

Fallen oak at Hutchison's Meadow - Ben Calvesbert

This week saw some extremely wet wildlife, a fallen giant, exciting feathered visitors to Carlton Marshes and fungi resembling a banana!

We all find ourselves in a national lockdown, but our reserve teams are still working hard to care for and manage our nature reserves. Please do not travel to visit our reserves. Our reserves remain open for local walkers although our visitor centres and hides are closed. You can find out more here.

A fallen giant

This enormous dead oak toppled over at Hutchison's Meadow this week. Ben Calvesbert, Meadows & Heaths Warden, said the tree will need to be checked for bats as they may still be roosting inside, and that eventually he will clear the tree to the side of the meadow vegetation, leaving the timber on site as an important refuge for invertebrates in years to come.

Fallen oak at Hutchison's Meadow - Ben Calvesbert

Fallen oak at Hutchison's Meadow - Ben Calvesbert

Heron tucked away

This smart grey heron found the perfect spot at Carlton Marshes this week, tucked out of the chilly winter wind but still enjoying the sunshine! The reserve’s 2021 bird list is off to a flying start, with 83 species being recorded already, including some exciting visitors such as Eastern yellow wagtail and pochard.

Grey heron at Carlton Marshes - Andrew Easton

Grey heron at Carlton Marshes - Andrew Easton

Waterlogged wildlife

Many of our nature reserves are extremely moist this week. We can’t remember seeing Thelnetham Fen so saturated before, the images below show the fluctuation of the fen from its wettest on Christmas Day to its driest in summer.

Redgrave & Lopham Fen has also had extremely high water levels, with the footpath nearly disappearing into the River Waveney! Some curious swirly clouds were also seen overhead.

Banana skin fungi

David Stansfeld, one of our fantastic volunteer wardens, spotted these moor club fungi which resemble banana skins whilst busy mowing Rendlesham as part of essential bracken management. The work helps to promote young heather growth providing great habitat for woodlark and many rare invertebrates.

Crash landing

Whilst taking her daily walk at Hen Reedbeds, Sarah Groves, Communications Manager, captured the moment this unfortunate cygnet tried to land in a rather muddy spot! All was well after a bit of a struggle!

Cygnet in mud at Hen Reedbeds - Sarah Groves

Cygnet in mud at Hen Reedbeds - Sarah Groves