Sunday, 13 November 2011

Owl and Harrier Spotting

Harriers and Owls

As there have been some fantastic sightings of Owls and Harriers recently I thought I would share my favourite places to go and see them.

Number one is pretty simple, our Visitor Centre at Wicken. Clearly a good spot at any time but if you finish your walk for about 30 minutes before dusk and are near the Visitor Centre you have a great chance of spotting a Harrier or two, and possibly an Owl, mainly Barn Owls.

Number two is Harrisons Drove. I have always liked a wander down here at dusk and waiting to see if anything flies over head.

Number Three, Via Newnham Drove, heading from Burwell. This drove is in a bit of a state and you need a 4x4 really to get to the end where there isn’t any parking, just a few lay-bys. But the reasonably long, straight walk down from then end can be as fruitful as where the arrow points to at its end. I found myself here at the end of last Thursday and spotted four Short Eared Owls one flying right overhead. If you are on the lodes way this is a nice point to stop lean on the gate and take a nice break. Barn Owls andMarsh Harriers have both been spotted here recently by myself.

Number four. Reach Lode Bridge. There is a bit of hard standing here, Split Drove is in better condition than Newnham Drove, not ideal but I can take my little car down there no bother. Pop over the Bridge and see what you can.

The path around Burwell Fen via Reach Lode, Burwell Lode and the Lodes way makes a big triangle. This is well worth a wander, especially in the afternoon/evening as the sun goes down.

Here is another fantastic picture of a Short Eared Owl by Richard Nicoll.

Short Eared Owl


  1. where's your map from so I can cite it?
    thanks John x

  2. Hello. The map is an NT one, I used my skills on MS Paint to edit it. Favourite fen? Depends on what I want go looking for or what kind of walk I like. Not much of the East Anglian fen basin left so either Wicken, Chippenham, Woodwalton Fen. Clearly Wicken and the land nearby is the one I visit most as I work there and live not too far away so I go walking near by a lot.

    1. sorry about the previous comments, keyboard had an issue. Is there a website I can cite for the original map? I'm certain I'll lose marks for referencing a blog site. Yeah Woodwalton is a favourite of my friend

    2. No worries. Don't think it is online anywhere else. If it is any use maybe you could reference it in the same way as a newspaper article or magasine, this is a kind of online version.