Wildlife update by visitor ranger Sophie Rolfe

Winter has definitely arrived in the wildlife world this month, with the increasingly cold (and wet) weather pulling in more of the winter migrant birds and many of the other species heading for cover. 

Some of the avian highlights this month have included:

  • Cattle Egret – it’s still around, but now the cattle have moved to dryer ground it may not be around for much longer
  • Fieldfare
  • Yellow Hammer (on the Rural Estate)
  • Lesser Redpoll
  • Shoveler (one of my favourite ducks – named partly due to the shovel-shaped beak)
  • Wigeon (one of our main winter migrants in the Nene Valley)
  • Siskin
  • Redwing
  • Nuthatch
  • Goldcrest
  • Kingfisher (they’re here all year, but seem to be showing particularly well at the moment, possibly due to the leaves having dropped)
  • Barn Owls – still being seen frequently over Heron Meadow 
  • Mistle Thrush
  • Brambling
  • Cetti’s Warbler
  • Greenfinch
  • Snipe
  • Great White Egret

Pay a visit to the winter bird mix area on the Rural Estate for flocks of LBJs (little brown jobs), including Yellow Hammers and various Buntings. 

Otters – sightings have been increasing over the last few weeks on the river and in the lakes. This is probably due to the rising water levels on the river pushing them in as in the last couple of years, so keep an eye out!