Tuesday 5 June 2012

Not the Diamond Jubilee, Part 1

Or, "If it's Saturday, this must be Norfolk..."

In the futile attempt to limit the sensory overload brought about by one's monarch reaching a landmark 60 years on the throne, I whisked Our Lass off to East Anglia for a few days' break. Despite the inevitable traffic queues on the drive to Norfolk, we arrived at Wheatfen Broad just after lunch and in bright sunshine. You may recall, dear reader, that we had visited this particular reserve 52 weeks previously, in the hope of seeing a Swallowtail butterfly, but without success.

Guess what was at the top of our list this year?

Well, the place was teeming with damsels and dragons, for a start. And as it was hot, they were zipping about like there was no tomorrow (bearing in mind the weather the following day, this may  have been true). There were butterflies too, Brimstone, Peacock, Orange Tip and a species of White that was a bit too quick to ID, but sadly once again, no Swallowtail.

Still, the odes made up for the disappointment. Hairy Dragonfly, Four-spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Scarce Chaser, Norfolk Hawker, Banded Demoiselle, plus Azure, Large Red, Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselflies. Smashing!

Female Hairy Dragonfly ovipositing into a floating dead stem
Yellow Flag Iris (would've looked better with a Swallowtail butterfly on it)
Large Red Damselflies in tandem ("This leaf." "No, no, THIS one!")
Orange Tip butterfly on a Ragged Robin flower
Following all that excitement, we made our way to a gorgeous B+B at Sisland, near Loddon, where we were made most comfortable. Our thanks to Jane and Lesley at the Tithe Barn, for their unstinting hospitality, especially the Barn Owl and the Hares virtually on the doorstep. It doesn't get much better than that (Swallowtails aside).

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