A chance to get up close with nature at reserve walks

Welches Dam

Welches Dam - Credit: Archant

Discover the wildlife of the Fens out-of-hours by taking part in the RSPB Ouse Washes walks.

The events take place at the RSPB Welches Dam reserve at Manea (PE15 0NF), at dusk on September 7 and again on September 15, from 7-9.30pm.

The first port of call of the walks will be Welches Dam hide, where there will be migrating wading birds and the chance to see the reserve’s resident barn owls hunting in the evening light. Binoculars and a telescope will be available to help to ensure that participants can see these birds up close and personal.

As darkness falls, there will be the opportunity to use special bat detectors to listen to the bats that are feeding over the reserve. This include the Daubenton’s bat, which is a species that feeds on insects on the surface of the water.

After a well-earned hot chocolate in the reserve visitor centre, there will then be the opportunity to do some mammal watching. Highlights may include seeing elusive otters and shy badgers.

David White, communication officer for the RSPB, said: “These walks provide people with the opportunity to find out what creatures go bump in the night at RSPB Ouse Washes. We will hopefully see ghostly barn owls and waders such as black tailed godwits. We will then listen for the weird and wonderful echolocation calls of the local bats.

“We will then return to the visitor centre to look for nocturnal mammals. If we are very lucky, we may see some of the badgers that call the reserve home as they emerge from their sett for their nightly perambulations around the reserve.”

Most Read

The cost is £10 for adults, £5 for children (non-members), and £8 for adults and £4 for children who are RSPB members. A non-member family ticket costs £25, and an RSPB member family ticket costs £20 (Based on two adults and two children). Price includes car parking for non-members of the RSPB. Price also includes hire of binoculars, bat detectors and one hot chocolate per person.

Booking is essential. To book online, visit: http://bit.ly/OuseWashesDuskWalk; Call 01842 863403/ 07803 576410 or e-mail: david.white@rspb.org.uk; for more information.