Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Frits and Skimmers at Holt

The day began splendidly, whilst enjoying lunch at the King's Head in Letheringsett a family of Kestrels busied themselves behind us.
Our real reason for heading in this direction was of course the Butterfly fest ongoing at Holt Country Park. Arriving at the pond, one chap picked out a White Admiral- our first target of the day. We were lucky enough to see more of these as the day progressed, and I would imagine they go under-recorded in many of our woods in Norfolk. The pond itself was brimming with life, Broad-bodied Chasers manning their perches and chasing off the likes of Common Darter and Four-spotted Chaser. We also saw Banded Demoiselle, Large Red, Emerald, Azure, Common Blue and Hairy Dragonfly. An incredible range, especially for someone relatively new to Dragonflies.
Heading out onto the Lowes, it was difficult to avoid the heat but our efforts were rewarded with some male Keeled Skimmers- our second target of the day. I was surprised at how small they actually are. I have to admit I did not see one of these at Surlingham earlier in the year; that must have been a Black-tailed Skimmer. Out on the heath and away from the bogs, we found a Grayling Butterfly.
Back to the woods, and it did not take long to find our last species on the hit-list: Silver-washed Fritillary. Frustratingly, only one individual rested for us to admire for a few seconds but we were treated to some excellent fly-by views of this powerful Butterfly.
 Large Red Damselfly
 Holt Lowes
 Keeled Skimmer- note the amber pterostigma
Female Broad-bodied Chaser

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