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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Suffolk: Purple Emperor, lots of other good stuff and two mysteries!

With little to tempt Brian, Norman and I up to the North Coast, we headed east to Dunwich Heath to look for dragonflies and Dartford Warblers. Although we saw a few DWs, they were either too distant or too flighty for decent shots. At Docwra's Ditch we found Four-spotted Chaser, Southern Hawker and Common Darter, as well as a more interesting Darter: more later...

Walking back to the car, we noticed a dark raptor heading south: at first we dismissed it as a juvenile Marsh Harrier, but its wings were strangely spotted. Any ideas?

Minsmere held a good selection of waders: Knot, Common Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff and so on, but nothing was close enough for good photography - least of all the Stone Curlews!

Last stop was the splendid Theberton Woods, where the excellent conservationist Sam watches daily over the butterfly heaven that he and his helpers have created. In just an hour we logged three Purple Emperors, two (at least) Silver-washed Fritillaries, as well as single  Purple Hairstreak and White Admiral. This beautiful place is under continual threat from the Forestry Commission: you can help preserve it by visiting and enjoying the wonderful wildlife!

Last bird of note was a Red Kite that flew low over the fields just to the south of Blofield Heath...

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