Saturday, 23 June 2012

Upton Fen

Every time I come here, I tell myself I must come more often!
Despite the breezy conditions, plenty of Odonata were on the wing. Lots of Black-tailed Skimmers were basking on the boardwalk. A couple of Hairy patrolled their territory, but best of all were a handful of Norfolk Hawker. These Dragonfly rarely land, but hover briefly, allowing for good views and a terrible in-flight shot posted below! I watched one individual for a while, a proper 'Norfolk' wildlife experience. Damsels were less obvious in the wind, but I did manage to track down Common Blue, Azure and Variable amongst the sheltered vegetation.
Butterflies were harder to come by, although I did manage my first Meadow Brown of the year. Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and Red Admiral were the other species I saw; one chap showed me his picture of a Ringlet, and another walker reported a single Swallowtail.
2 Marsh Harrier were hunting over the reedbed, although surprisingly I could not find the Hobby. Both Reed and Sedge Warbler still sang, as did a Cuckoo.
I called in at the broad before heading home. Sand Martin and Common Tern hawking over the water.
The best bird of the day was picked up whilst driving, and I quickly found somewhere to park before I crashed, as a Red Kite is still a good bird in Norfolk, or anywhere for that matter!

                                          Southern Marsh Orchid
                                          Norfolk Hawker
                                          A bird! Finally!
                                          Variable Damselfly- note the 'exclamation mark' antehumeral stripes.

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