Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Fabulous Orchids, amazing insects and a Dartford Warbler

A really great day out on the North Coast with Norman and Brian produced some fantastic wildlife encounters - so many I'm forced to split them into two posts: animals in the first, plants in the second!

First stop was Holt Country Park, where (despite an early arrival) plenty of dragonflies were on the wing. The woodland pool held Broad-bodied Chaser, Four-spot and - new for this part of the park - Keeled Skimmer. Since none of these deigned to slow down for a photo, we walked out to the Lowes where the Keeled Skimmers were more obliging. Also good to see were some very large Sundew plants and a couple of Woodlarks: a pair of Crossbills flew over calling.

Returning to the Country Park we bumped into old acquaintance Trevor, who was hoping for Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth. Despite a stake-out of the Red Campion we failed to pick one out, so continued round to one of the sunny bramble patches. Quite quickly we added Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral to the day's tally, and were pleased to be able to point them out to Trevor!

After coffee (and scones!) at Cley, we moved to Kelling Heath. Almost the first living thing we saw was a Brown Argus, quickly followed by dozens of Silver-studded Blues. A slow walk around the perimeter path delivered good views of a singing Dartford Warbler and another Woodlark.

Last stop was Beeston Common, where we ate lunch on the benches overlooking the pond. This was alive with mating Emperors, depositing eggs, washing their tails and charging around after rivals! A walk through the woods to the marshy valley produced find of the day for me: a single flower spike of Lesser Butterfly Orchid - what a belter! Several other orchid species provided back-up, including Marsh Helleborine, Fragrant Orchid and others I need to check! Also good to see were several clusters of another insectivorous plant, the Butterwort.













 

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