May 24th continued......
Banded Demoiselle-male female far right
Drake Mackerel Mayfly
Lacewing poss' Chrysopa perla
From the garden, going Cuckoo!
A Cuckoo singing/calling, as heard from the Martham garden (25th) was a first, but this was followed by two more additions later, when a Hobby appeared followed almost immediately by a calling Oystercatcher. A Holly Blue was also seen.
Swallowtails in a depleting habitat......
A walk along the Weaver’s Way at Hickling (28th) was mainly to look for Swallowtails, but as usual there were other things of interest too!
Not too many Odonata was seen along the stretch from Decoy Road, an area where succession is making the dyke-side habitat into woodland very quickly and changing the habitat, which favours Swallowtails.
Although there was no quadrate sampling carried out, purely on observation over the years, has seen a decrease in plant communities which are necessary to support what is our largest and one of our rarest butterflies. Needless to say, not one Swallowtail was seen until I reached the public hide, when one was seen visiting the Ragged Robin in an area cut to allow the birding fraternity to be able to see Rush Hills scrape, but in doing so had inadvertently produced a habitat far more suitable, plant community wise for P. m. britannicus! A new sign ‘adorned’ the side of the hide stating that the NWT was safeguarding Norfolk’s wildlife for the future. Really?!
Along with Shelduck and Gadwall families on the scrape two large white birds at the far side of the scrape in the heat haze caught the attention. Expecting to see spoonbills, the enhanced optical view revealed that they were Great White Egrets. Not too many years ago (relatively speaking), this would be have been thought unthinkable, but then another Great White flew in!
The first Black-tailed Skimmer (a mature male) of the year was seen on the walk back and 2 Norfolk Hawker, numerous Four-spotted Chaser, at least 8 Hairy Dragonflies and a further two Swallowtails (visiting Red Campion), Rhingia campestris hoverfly and Red-and-black Froghopper were encountered during an enjoyable visit.