Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Caravan (1)

This yellow boulder was lying amongst the Limestone pebbles on the beach at Far Arnside.

A closer look reveals a fascinating landscape of minute perfections! I know very little about lichens so this rock will provide me with a good starting point.

There look to me to be two types (species?) here but what do I know? Will report back later.
Posted by Picasa

Caravan (2)

These two lichen were on limestone bedrock nearby. This one has a distinct ring around it. Perhaps it is different to those posted above?

And this is a pale grey like discarded spearmint chewing gum.
Posted by Picasa

Caravan (3)

This remaining fragment of vegetation shows the layered structure of the disappearing shore very clearly.

Posted by Picasa

Caravan (4)

I don't know what this is but it is small, beautiful, perfectly formed and abundant above the tid line at the moment.

Posted by Picasa


Tom likes dragonflies - dagonflies like Tom...
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 19 August 2007

More from Norfolk...

The whole area was fringed with unspoilt beaches such as this one at Horsey Gap. Grey Seals were often in evidence a few metres out.

This is Great Ormesby Broad taken from the Eel's Foot Hotel the evening before Lisa and my fruitess day's pike fishing. (Well fruitless in terms of catching pike but we did see dragonflies, warblers, a kingfisher and a juvenile Great Crested Grebe fishing close to the boat... fruitless did I say? Sue in the other boat also saw a Marsh harrier)

This adult Grebe was near the excellent visitor centre on Ranworth Broad.
Posted by Picasa

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:

*Norfolk Hawker
*Brown Hawker
*Migrant hawker
*Southern Hawker
*Emperor Dragonfly

*Common Darter
*Ruddy Darter

*Black-Tailed Skimmer

*Common Blue Damselfly
*Azure Damselfly
*Blue-Tailed Damselfly
*Red-Eyed Damselfly

*Banded Damoiselle

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.

Posted by Picasa

We're Back!!!

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.....
Posted by Picasa