Monday, September 23, 2013

Trundle Mere lookout

Trundle Mere Lookout is a new hide at the northern edge of Holme Fen NNR which looks out over the Rymes Reedbed area of the Great Fen Project. It was officially opened in June, but was closed in August due to fire damage from vandalism and reopened on 3 September. Yesterday (Sunday 22 Sept) was the first time I have been there. As you can see from the photos, it was a lovely sunny afternoon (the car's thermometer showed 26°C).
side view

approach ramp from the pathe along the edge of Holme Fen
Rymes Reedbed is a big project to create a large area of reedbeds to the north of Holme Fen in an area that was historical on the edge of Whittlesey Mere. This involves lowering the land level by removing peat - which will then be used to build up the banks around some of the main drains which run through the Great Fen in order to be able to retain water on the site. Work started in the winter of 2012 and will eventually create 30-40 hectares of wetland.

The view from the new hide is mostly ruderal fields and piles of soil with a few, rather distant pools. It looks across Farcet Fen with the ridge on which Yaxley and Farcet sit to the left and Ramsey wind farm more or less straight ahead. The following panorama is composed from seven shots stitched together and covers about 180°:

view from the lookout
We were there about half an hour and saw five species of birds of prey: 1 Hobby, 2 Kestrels, 2 Red Kites, 4 Buzzards and an adult female Marsh Harrier (plus Sparrowhawk which flew over the road where we parked the car). This is a pretty typical list for the Great Fen area or the nearby Nene Washes, but quite an extravaganza for one spot is such a short period! The only other bird of note was a Greenshank on one of the pools. Here is a very noisy, digiscoped record shot:

Digiscoped Greenshank