Tuesday, 21 August 2007
Sunday, 19 August 2007
This adult Grebe was near the excellent visitor centre on Ranworth Broad.
Tuesday, 14 August 2007
There were dragonflies everywhere we went in Norfolk. This picture is of a kneeler in Ranworth Church, the 'Cathedral of the Broads' and indicates local pride in the Norfolk Hawker dragonfly. We did see 2 Norfolk Hawkers on Horsey Mere (identified by local guide 'Ross' from his boat) a few weeks after they should have finished for the year. I was hoping to see this species but wasn't very optimistic.
That other great Norfolk speciality, the Swallowtail Butterfly, had last been seen by Ross two weeks before our trip. He did however point out the Milk Parsley which is the sole food of the Swallowtail larvae.
This is a Black-Tailed Skimmer just outside the visitor centre at Ranworth Broad. This is well worth a visit for a very clear illustration of the local habitats, and how managed broads decline to Alder carr (with Alder and Willow sinking under their own weight as they grow in muddy water.) We also saw Black-Tailed Skimmers from our (rented) rowing boat on Great Ormesby Broad.
I will have to look this one up but I assume it is a female Common or Ruddy Darter.
This one is a Migrant hawker hanging from a slender branch on a sunny afternoon. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you can see the diagnostic golf-tee shaped mark on the second segment after the thorax.
The full list of dragonflies and damselflies for the holiday was:
*Common Blue Damselfly
I have to admit I didn't distinguish between Common and Azure Damselflies in the field but had it on good information that both were present and saw a lot of blue damselflies!
At How Hill we were told of a stretch of bank for Small Red-Eyed Damselfly but sadly didn't have time to investigate.
After a wonderful Norfolk holiday free from the internet we are back and buzzing with tales of ...er...dragonflies mainly. GMTV had a special report on mosquitos in Norfolk the day before we arrived but they left us well alone I'm pleased to report.
I will try and fill in the holiday Nature Diary over the next few days but this female Common Darter (???) seen in Horsey Churchyard will have to do to be going on with.
I was thrilled by the sheer number and variety of dragonflies in Norfolk. I am reasonably confident that we identified 11 different species during our 10 day stay. Oh and Marsh Harriers, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker galore.....