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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Weekend in Suffolk Day 3

We had a wander around Westleton Common before breakfast again, it was much the same as yesterday but no Little Owl today, we staked out a Nightingale in a bush by the path for a while being certain we should be able to see it but no it didn’t reveal itself, the Wood Lark showed well though. After breakfast we headed off to Strumpshaw Fen on the outskirts of Norwich with Swallowtail Butterfly in mind, I’ve seen them abroad but it would be a British tick for me, after getting the gen on the best places to see them we headed off around the reserve, the first area proved negative but there were plenty of Brimstones, Orange Tips, Common and Holly Blues about, we carried on heading for the far end of the reserve and eventually got a sighting of a Swallowtail although it was just a fly by, nevertheless a new British Butterfly for me. We had a look from the main hide along this route but there was nothing much birdwise, a couple of Egyptian Geese being the best of it, we carried on to the far end where the food plant for the Swallowtails was and were pleased to find two freshly emerged and posing individuals, spent quite some time photographing these. This is also a great reserve for Cetti's Warblers they seemed to be singing from everywhere and when we eventually left the Butterflies one burst into song from a pile of dead branches a bit further along the track, a flicker of movement caught my eye and there it was picking its way through the dead stuff, great views and I even got some photos, really pleased with that we couldn’t believe it as we returned to the car park when another one posed for us in the ditch running alongside the road, an excellent morning. After lunch we went back to Lakenheath in the hope we might better Fridays sightings but it was not to be, the Golden Oriole was singing away again but didn’t show this time, a Bittern was booming and several Bearded Reedlings flitted about the reeds, two Hobbies were hunting near the river but by the time I got round and into a position I could have a go at photographing them they decided to fly to the trees and have a rest, the family of Cranes were still feeding in the same area. An enjoyable weekend around 100 species seen by me although the main highlight was a Butterfly rather than a bird.

a Grey Heron getting some grief from a Black Headed Gull

First views

just got better

and better

the first Cetti's

Four Spotted Chaser

the second Cetti's skulking in a ditch

then perched out in the open briefly

more Four Spots at Lakenheath

plus Banded Demoiselle

the Hobby heading for the trees

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