Last year whilst visiting the Hawk & Owl Trusts reserve at Sculthorpe Moor we talked to another visitor who recommended a visit to Lackford Lakes. This is a reserve run by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. It is just across the border in Suffolk.
With the prospect of a break in the weather and temperatures set to break February records we drove over to Lackford. We hoped the clear skies and sunshine would give us some good photo opportunities.
Arriving when the visitor centre opened we were surprised by the number of cars already in the car park.
We set off on the Kingfisher trail to the first of the lake hides. There are several hides dotted around the reserve. On the lake, that doubles as a sailing venue, there were a number of Mallards, Greylag and Canada geese close to the hide. Across the the lake were good numbers of Tufted Duck, Pochard, Gadwall, Shoveler and Teal. Nearby a pair of Goldeneye were displaying, flicking their heads right back against their bodies.
Further around the path we came to the third hide. This provided good views of three Snipe, a pair of Little Egrets, and a number of Lapwings. It’s obviously a popular hide. Inside we discovered who all the cars seen earlier belonged too.
After a short wait we were provided with excellent photo opportunities of a female kingfisher. She was feeding in the pool and resting on a couple of well positioned logs.
We spent some time watching the Kingfisher catching a number of fish. It was amazing at how quickly she disposed of the catch. Then we returned to the centre for a coffee and cake.
After a rest at the centre we set off on the East Lakes trail. Towards the wooded area at Ash Carr and a number of other lakes that make up the reserve. Although the lakes didn’t add greatly to our checklist the woodland walk added Nuthatch, Great & Blue Tits. Treecreeper and Marsh Tit. As well the sound of hammering as a Great Spotted Woodpecker established its territory.
Although it was great to see these woodland species the highlight of the day was undoubtedly the Kingfisher. It appears, from chatting to some of the other birders and photographers, to be a regular visitor. She is often accompanied by her mate at this time of the year.
This is definitively a place to see Kingfishers and worth visiting again. Next time we would take on the challenge of trying to capture these colourful birds in flight as they hover above the pool. We would also need to arrive earlier to get the best light conditions, as in the afternoon light levels at the pool drop.