Short-eared owls and hen harriers return to Wicken Fen this winter season
WENDY COOPER / RICHARD NICOLL
Bird spotters are in for a treat as short-eared owls and hen harriers have returned to the region for winter.
The birds can be spotted at the National Trust’s Wicken Fen Nature Reserve from 10am to dusk.
Martin Lester, countryside manager, said: “Short-eared owls breed across northern Europe, and we normally only see them as over-wintering birds in East Anglia.
“Along with birds that may breed in northern Britain, there is an influx of continental birds from Scandinavia, Russia and Iceland in winter, so it’s likely that some birds seen at Wicken Fen may be visiting from much further afield.
“They are commonly seen hunting during the day, which can make them easy to spot, as they hover and drift across the fen looking for the small mammals that make up their diet.”
Visitors to Wicken Fen can also enjoy bearded tits, several species of deer, and large flocks of winter thrushes such as redwing and fieldfare.
Latest sightings and maps of the trails are available from the visitor centre, which is open from 10am to dusk. It is open every day except Christmas day.