Expect the Unexpected

Had the day off work today, so of course I headed over to the Fen, hoping to try photographing the Redwing again. Unfortunately it looks like they have moved on. Lots of birds around today though, all quite vocal in the mild temperature especially the Great tits. Saw a Shelduck at the far end, and large numbers of gulls. Then I saw a strange looking goose, I think this is a hybrid bird, presumably Canada X Greylag goose given the markings. It was associating with the Canada geese, and looks like it was paired with one of them. Took a record shot just for interest…

Interesting article here: http://www.gobirding.eu/Photos/HybridGeese.php on hybrid geese. I’ve never heard of a ‘Swoose’ before!

Walking back up through the woodland, I saw a movement near the edge of the path. A Roe deer, just the other side of the fence, just a few meters away! She hadn’t heard me, so I froze and watched her. She was picking at the vegetation, tiptoeing though the bracken and grass, so lovely to see. I noticed a couple walking up ahead on the path, as they got closer, the deer lifted her head and stared at them, she heard them long before I could. She waited until they were pretty close before prancing away. She didn’t go too far though, and then relaxed again. I walked up quietly to a clearer spot, and waited for her to emerge. She spotted me, but didn’t seem alarmed.

She grazed a little while longer, and then slowly made her way to the woodland. I came across her again, further up the path. I crouched down and kept still and she came closer – seemingly as curious about me as I was about her, we watched each other for several minutes. Suddenly there was a slight breeze and she caught my scent, she pranced away, the spell broken. I heard her barking further away in the woodland. Just magic watching such a beautiful animal.

Decided to head back, but on the way I came across what I feared was a dead animal at the base of a tree. Just a pile of greyish fuzz. The greyish fuzz blinked. I realised it was definitely alive, and was a large bird…

It’s a Rhea, more commonly found in South America! See, the wildlife comes from far and wide to enjoy the benefit and beauty of the Fen!! I assume this is an escapee, I hope it gets home safely! The warden seemed as astonished as I was!

What will I see next time….?!

(Click images to view larger…)


Sign up to receive blog notifications and exclusive content!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Similar Posts


  1. Wow!!! You are certainly seeing some unexpected creatures and you have a really good way with words; perhaps photography needs to be your second string. I just had to check it wasn’t April 1st!
    We have had a good day out today round and about Thetford; although we did get lost when we went to see the Hawfinches at Lynford paddock, I don’t know where we wen t wrong perhaps Drew could give us a ring?
    Did see Brambling, Reed Buntings & Tree Sparrows though.
    Where did the Rhea come from?

  2. Come to think of it, I think Jan or Drew & I saw something similar at Thetford Garden Centre (the field next to the cafe because I remember it caused us some confusion as to identifying it.

    1. Thanks Rob, 🙂

      The warden suggested it may have come from Banham Zoo! Although, I have heard of people keeping these birds – not sure whether for food or as pets. Perhaps someone nearby keeps them.

      I believe the land next to Thetford Garden Centre used to be an animal park of some sort. Mum says she remembers it.

      Always nice to see Brambling and Tree Sparrows – don’t get them on the Fen!!

      I’ll ask Drew to give you a ring.

      See you soon,


Leave a Reply