A beautiful morning on the Fen, what a relief to have some calm sunny weather! The first bird of the day was a Spotted Flycatcher near the visitors centre – a lovely little bird. A pair of Treecreepers were also hanging around.

Walking out onto the fen, I saw the Little Grebe in his regular place, and as he swam across the water I managed this artistic shot. The back-lighting highlights the reeds and rising mist, and this photo really sums up the feel of the fen this morning.

Continuing round there were Linnets, including a singing male, and a flock of Long-tailed tits. With them were two Marsh tits – nice to see.

Swifts were hawking for insects over one of the scrapes and interestingly they were silent as they hunted. I’m more used to them screaming like banshees as they race around the rooftops of the village.

The Sedge warblers and Reed buntings were unobliging as they were busy collecting food for their chicks. Walking back to the centre I caught sight of a Muntjac deer, looking lovely in her richly coloured summer coat.

The Spotted Flycatcher had turned into a pair of them, and they allowed me to get my first shots of this species. They are quite a plain little bird to look at, but are delightful to watch as they spring from a branch after an insect and then return to the same perch with a flick of their wings. They are efficient hunters too, nearly all of the insect catching attempts I witnessed were successful.

The backlit and bright conditions were a little tricky photographically, but I’m quite pleased with these!

Then, just as I turned to leave, a movement out on the fen caught my eye. A large raptor was quartering back and forth – a Marsh Harrier. The first I’ve seen here for some time, I just seem to keep missing them! Contrasting dark and light wings revealed this individual to be a male bird. Watching him brought a smile to my face, I just love the way these birds fly.

(Click images to view larger.)