Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk Wildlife


There be dragons

A wonderful dragonfly walk at the start of the month by Steve Rowland of the NWT (Norfolk Wildlife Trust) accompanied by Di his lovely wife. I was delighted to be Steve’s guest at Royden Common as he showed members of the NNNS (Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists’ Society) and allcomers, the heath and what thrives there. Some excellent conservation work by excellent naturalists.

I managed to get some half decent photos of Black Darter that were flying around the pools. Remember anyone can attend the NNNS events usually (but not always) at no cost. See for details.


Happy New Year

This year has been a strange one. A year of two halves and contrasts. The first half, once again like 2020, became a period of sedentary incapability. Tours and trips had to be cancelled. Unpicking the arrangements with boat operators and hotels is never easy. Indeed, sadly some of them financially went to ‘the wall’ as their business slumped.

I always said that because of the way I run the business, and my financial affairs, WT&E would front out anything thrown at it no matter how long the lockdown, without the help of government handouts. Little did I know that the business levels in the second half of the year would bounce back so strongly and so quickly.

Guests were keen to get back into the countryside and I couldn’t blame them, having been isolated and restricted for so long. However, safety of guests was paramount. Local day tours were conducted by guests following in their own vehicle and longer tours when we shared a vehicle were carried out against a background of testing by both guests and me. As a consequence, we had some good local tours and some effortlessly successful tours away.

A good relationship this year with ‘Wild Ken Hill’ and involvement in a small way with some of the good things they are trying to do there was very pleasing. Long may their rewilding and regenerative agricultural development continue.

Still no trips abroad. I feel it would be foolish to commit to these yet. To do so in the current environment is inviting difficulty and potential unnecessary expense. Maybe in 2023. The wilds of Australia, North and South America will all still be there; as will the Atlantic Islands. All on our agenda.

A single new bird for me during the course of the year was the Syke’s Warbler on Blakeney Point in September. The supporting cast of other birds, dragonflies, butterflies and cetaceans were many, but perhaps the pick of the crop was the Sei Whale in the Firth of Forth.

The accompanying photo I took of a Sanderling last week, a bird renowned for running up and down beaches, perhaps summarises the year; a lot of backwards and forwards.

All in all a good year. 2022 promises even more. I hope above all hope the coming year gives you your needs and desires. Happy New Year.



When photographing this Silver washed Fritillary this Meadow Brown just couldn’t resist getting in on the act.


A New Species to Science

In 2000 when Jonathan Revett collected what he described as a ‘fleshy form of the Rayed Earthstar at Cockley Cley, Norfolk. He sent specimens to Kew and other places but was assured that it was a known variant.


It was only several years later that DNA analysis uncovered that Jonathan’s discovery was indeed a new species; and so Geastrum britannicum was named. So far it has no common English name. Since the initial discovery several other sites throughout the UK and in particular Norfolk have come to light.


Heath runner

Walking across the heaths you may encounter one of these. Green Tiger Beetle. Apparently our fastest running insect. I wonder who measured that?

Green Tiger Beetle



On our photographing orchid day the other week I failed to find Birds Nest Orchid. It has to be said they aren’t showy bright flowered jobs. They are nondescript and difficult to find under trees amid similar coloured leaf litter. I felt sure it was the late spring had perhaps delayed them and it wasn’t my inability to find them that was at fault.

However, I thought I’d go back to the site about a week or so later to see if I could conjure some up. I couldn’t, but I did find a few spikes of Twyblade; another very unassuming orchid. The flowers are supposed to look like little men. I think they are a dead ringer for tiny ‘jesters’. What do you think?



Slimy Feline

On a woodland walk there were more Leopard Slugs in one place than I’ve ever seen before. This is a very large slug but I have yet to experience it’s suspended mating dance!

Leopard Slug


Hidden orchids

Last month hidden away among coastal bushes were some wonderful Broad leaved Helleborines. No squat short ‘where are they I can’t see them’ Orchids these. Growing the best part of a metre high they are definitely ‘look at me I’m in your face’ plants. When I photographed these they were dappled by some welcome sunshine.

Broad leaved Helleborine


Ladies and their hair

I eventually found some Autumn Ladies Tresses to photograph the other week. This photograph shows how this orchid got its name. The spiral of flowers around this 10cm stem really do look like plaits of hair.

Autumn Ladies Tresses


A Bullet from a Gun

We were photographing Deer the other week when this little chap shot out from under our feet. We knew he was somewhere in the area as one of my guests had seen him amble behind trees earlier. As we continued to photograph the Deer he certainly managed to lay as flat as a sheet until we were almost on top of him when he sprang up and surprised us all. I managed to get this half reasonable shot of him as he sped for the nearest nettle patch.


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Mar 2023


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