Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Sunday on the broads - 12th July 2015

 I went to Norfolk for the weekend to celebrate Danni's birthday as she was in Norwich for the week. This was great to spent time with her in the area she's got to know over the last few years, but also to be in a wonderful part of the world with a few invert lifers that were available for me!
My main target was a Willow Emerald, which bafflingly is available (along with Norfolk Hawker) in good numbers on the UEA campus! We started off on Sunday morning at a site near to Norwich looking the first Lizard Orchid in Norfolk in 60 years. It took a while to find, but we eventually found the lone plant which had slightly past its best, but it was extremely impressive in size and very intricate. Great to see!
Next was a small pond nearby looking for Red-veined Darter. The weather was hardly perfect as it was raining, but we managed to find my only lifer of the trip! Willow Emeralds were present here with about 5 seen. We then found out this was actual a site first which was nice!
 On the way up to the coast, we came across a pair of Grey Partridge right next to the road. They allowed amazing views, but due to their reluctance to budge, we assumed there must've been chicks somewhere nearby, so we decided to leave them to it. Beautiful birds.

Next we dipped Spotted Crake at Titchwell, but saw 6 black Spotted Redshanks and a couple of Bearded Tits which was nice. Next onto Holt to look for lepidoptera as Danni still needed White Admiral and Siver-washed Fritillary. I also need Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth, but failed to find any in the car park. With occasional heavy rain showers, we were getting a tad worried, but I eventually spotted an orange flash of a feeding Silver-washed Frit and later a White Admiral. We got great views of both (but I left my camera in the car due to the rain and got hideously crippling views of perfectly lit fritillaries!

We ended the day at Strumpshaw with the main targets being Swallowtail and Norfolk Hawker as I'd only ever had terrible views of both. The swallowtails were as near as makes no difference to finished but there had been a couple seen in recent days. We were amazed when we were informed of a caterpillar right next to the path which we were shown and then a second one was discovered. Not exactly what I expected my first Swallowtail photograph to be, but I'll take it! Next target was Norfolk Hawker which I had nice views of a quartering dragon for about 4 minutes. Nice bins views, but a right bugger to photograph! I loved Strumpshaw. I could've easily spent a whole day there with the Hobby, Common Terns, Marsh Harriers and more Willow Emeralds, it was great.

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