Monday, 15 June 2009

A Yellow Theme

Following on from a successful Quail session, Sunday promised to be quite good.
With little in the way of rare birds to go for, we decided to concentrate on the fens and broads, targeting a few key species.
The Golden Orioles at RSPB Lakenheath have proved very popular, as at least one nest is usually visible and staked out. A far cry from our early visits many years ago when access was rather more complex and viewing difficult (though on one memorable visit in a thunderstorm saw several males chasing females through the woods).The large crowd showed us where to look, and for once, the nest was in full view, and over a period of half an hour we were able to see the female on the nest, and watch the male visit on several occasions.
There were many dragonflies as usual, a large number of Hairy, and Black Tailed Skimmers, but we did not see any of the recently colonized Scarce Chasers (they are going over now).
The planned visit to RSPB Strumpshaw Fen did not go quite to plan. We did not realise that there was a big butterfly day, and as a result it was not as quiet as expected.
A small colony of Bee Orchid was a nice surprise, but the meadow orchids seem to be a hybrid mix of marsh and spotted species. We saw several Swallowtail here, and we also saw large numbers of Norfolk Hawkers, and a bonus of several Scarce Chasers.
We returned to the car park and then visited the eastern corner of the reserve, where several Swallowtails could be seen at close quarters around the garden, plus we found a female laying eggs on the Milk Parsley.

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