Spring bird bonanza

Last Sunday’s Spring Bird Race was again a tremendous success. Sixteen early risers set off from the Environment Agency at 6am and just four hours later had between them notched up a staggering 81 species, all from within the Wildspace. People got fantastic views of marsh harriers hunting and cuckoos chasing one another, against a soundtrack of newly-returned turtle doves “turring” and snipe drumming over the flood meadows. Particular highlights were a siskin and a wheatear – both rare birds in Ely and firsts for the Bird Race. Many thanks indeed to Stuart Sharp for expert organisation and to team leaders Stu, Ben Green, Duncan Poyser and Mark Welch for their sharp eyes and extraordinary powers of hearing.