A small group of members together with the Warden Chris Hudson, visited the Fen on afternoon of the 8th September. Some members spotted a Water Vole in the ditch near the entrance to the reserve (TL 381718). Others missed the sighting, too busy photographing Berula erecta, Lesser Water Parsnip and Sagittaria sagittifolia, Arrowhead, also in the ditch. Weather was warm and clear, and Chris provided an excellent overview of the work of the RSPB and the success in attracting a wide variety of species to the site. Below are lists of those seen during the visit. Butterflies were scarce but Red Admiral and Small Heath occurred.

Other Species noted from visit 08/09/2019 HFFS 14.30-16.30

Birds included:

Cetti’s Warbler;

Great Crested Grebe;
House Sparrow;

Marsh Harrier;
Mute Swan;
Reed Bunting;

Most plant species were recorded in former intensive agricultural land (arable / grassland) now intermittently grazed by cattle. The wetlands consist of disused gravel workings dominated by Phragmites australis and associated drainage ditches.

Agrostis stolonifera, Creeping Bent

Anthriscus sylvestris, Cow Parsley

Artemisia vulgaris, Common Mugwort

Capsella bursa-pastoris, Shepherd's-purse

Carex riparia, Greater Pond-sedge

Cirsium arvense var. arvense, Creeping Thistle

Cirsium vulgare, Spear Thistle

Convolvulus arvensis var. arvensis, Field Bindweed

Crataegus monogyna, Hawthorn

Crepis capillaris var. capillaris, Smooth Hawk's-beard

Dactylis glomerata ssp. glomerata, Cock's-foot

Dipsacus fullonum, Wild Teasel

Epilobium hirsutum, Greater Willowherb

Heracleum sphondylium, Hogweed

Hypericum perforatum, Perforate St John's-wort

Juncus effusus, Soft Rush

Lamium album, White Dead-nettle

Lapsana communis, Nipplewort

Lolium perenne agg., Ryegrass

Lythrum salicaria, Purple-loosestrife


Malva neglecta, Dwarf Mallow

Phragmites australis, Common Reed

Picris echioides, Bristly Oxtongue

Plantago lanceolata, Ribwort Plantain

Plantago media, Hoary Plantain

Poa annua, Annual Meadow-grass

Potamogeton natans, Broad-leaved Pondweed

Potentilla repens, Creeping Cinquefoil

Ranunculus acris var. acris, Meadow Buttercup

Rosa canina agg., Rose

Rubus fruticosus agg., Bramble

Rumex acetosa, Common Sorrel

Schoenoplectus lacustris ssp. lacustris, Common Club-rush

Senecio jacobaea var. jacobaea, Common Ragwort

Sonchus arvensis, Perennial Sow-thistle

Taraxacum officinale agg., Dandelion

Thalictrum flavum, Common Meadow-rue

Trifolium pratense var. pratense, Red Clover

Trifolium repens var. repens, White Clover

Typha angustifolia, Lesser Bulrush

Typha latifolia, Bulrush

Urtica dioica subsp. dioica, Stinging Nettle


At the end of the walk we spotted a damselfly, which we later identified as an Emerald Damselfly.

emerald damsel fly2

© Pat Doody, Chair. 9/10/2019