July & August 2017 Tour reports
30th June & 1st July
An evening session for Nightjars & Owls on the Friday evening was very successful. We had really nice views of 3-4 Nightjars, a Woodcock, Grasshopper Warbler reeling  plus good views of 2 Barn Owls & a lovely Little Owl.

1st July 2017
Today the group from yesterday evening joined me for the day in North Norfolk. Our first stop was very successful with great views of both male and female Montagu's Harriers. We saw a nice mixture of shorebirds up at Titchwell, with Ruff, Black-tailed godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Spotted Redshank, lots of Avocet, several Marsh Harrier and 1-2 Bearded Tit.
We rounded the day off with nice close views of Spotted Flycatcher and Grey Wagtail.



6th July Day One of Four Summer Wildlife Tour
We started off with a productive couple of hours at Holme. Great close up views of a pair of Marsh Harriers, plus 2 juvenile Marsh Harrier that sat perched on top of bushes in front of the hide.Also excellent views of a hovering Kingfisher, Little Grebe and Common Buzzard. The sun had brought out a good selection of commoner insects, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Tortoishell, Red Admiral, Large Skipper and some stunning Comma.  Also Common Darter and Southern Hawker.

We then headed up to the main reserve where we able to  look through last nights moth collection. There was a good selection with highlights with Buff Tip, Small Emerald, Lime Hawk Moth and Burnished Brass. At Home we also saw lots of Pyramidal and Southern Marsh orchid.

We had a lovely picnic lunch then headed to Titchwell. There was an excellent selection of waders with 4 Spotted Redshank, c500 Avocet, c500 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Ruff, 15 Dunlin and Little Gull. Also nice was a young Bearded Tits flitting along the reed edges.
Quite good numbers of Teal already returning plus 1-2 Wigeon and several Spoonbill.
As we headed over to look for the Red-veined Darter, a nice surprise was 10 Crossbills heading south overhead.

7th July Day Two of Four Summer Wildlife Tour
A good day in the Brecks, with lots of butterflies and dragonflies, also Bittern, Marsh Harrier, food passes witnessed plus Siskin, Treecreeper, Marsh Tit, Nuthatch and a good selction of commoner warblers.
An excellent selection of dragonflies, Common Emerald, Blue-tailed, Azure damselfly, Red-eyed Damselfly, Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Four-spotted Chaser, Banded Demoiselle, Common Darter, Southern and Brown and Emperor. A good selection of butterflies, good numbers of Small and Essex Skipper.

After a lovely evening meal, we headed out and had amazing views of perched Nightjars, plus birds hovering just above our heads with almost constant behaviour for thirty minutes, also Woodcock overhead.
9th July Day four of Summer Wildlife Tour

We set out along a grazing marsh and adjoining salt marsh area, where we had a nice selection of birds as we walked out, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Little Tern, Common Tern,  Grey Partridge, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard. Plenty of singing Sedge & Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Meadow Pipit and plenty of Oystercatcher, Avocet and Redshank. Out in the dunes after a bit of searching we soon found several superb Dark Green Fritillary. Also plenty of Small Tortoishell.

We finished the day and trip off with some raptor watching, 5+ Red Kite, 12+ Buzzard, 5+ Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk.

117 species of bird, 19 species of butterfly, 14 species of damsel/dragonfly and 6 species of Orchid.


10th & 11th July 2017 - Two day educational tour for visiting Spanish students
An organised educational visit to Holme dunes and Titchwell RSPB reserve for a group of 14 Spanish students regarding the history of the natural environment in these areas plus the issues the areas are facing with the impacts of coastal erosion and global warming.
Red-veined Darter

Red-veined Darter

Lime Hawk moth 1

Lime Hawk moth 1

Marsh Harrier juvs

Marsh Harrier juvs

Fulmar

Fulmar

Essex Skipper

Essex Skipper

Nightjar

Nightjar

Small Copper

Small Copper

Banded Demoiselle

Banded Demoiselle

8th July Day Three of Four Summer Wildlife Tour

A great start to the day with real close up views of a hunting Barn Owl. This was surpassed though as we watched a pair of Montagu's Harriers hunting and perched on and off for around 30 minutes. We then headed into mid Norfolk where a wander around some ancient woodland gave us some  fantastic views of target butterflies. We had only been in the wood a few minutes when a Silver-washed Fritillary appeared. A little later we were to see at least 10+ Silver-washed Fritillary, until recent years this species had been absent for many years. We also had nice views of several White Admiral though these were quite flighty, but less difficult than the high canopy dwellers of Purple Hairstreak! Many commoner woodland birds and butterflies, plus Bullfinch, Blackcap and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

We then headed on to a wet heathland area where we enjoyed a superb spread of 500+ Marsh Helleborine, several Fragrant Orchid, Southern Marsh Orchid, Common Spotted Orchid and at least 15 Keeled Skimmer.

We then headed up to Cley had a late lunch and clients took a look around the Norfolk Birding exhibition at the NWT Centre, before a walk out on the reserve. There was a good selection of birds, highlights were 11 Spoonbill, Greenshank, Ruff, Curlew, 300 Black-tailed Godwit and more Marsh Harrier food passes!

We headed up on to nearby heathland, where we finished the day off with Silver-studded Blue, a singing Woodlark and a family of Stonechat.


Stonechat

Stonechat

Common Darter

Common Darter

Keeled Skimmer

Keeled Skimmer

Silver-studded Blue

Silver-studded Blue

Emerald

Emerald

Sundew

Sundew

White Admiral

White Admiral

Chalkhill Blue

Chalkhill Blue

Common Darter

Common Darter

Ruddy Darter

Ruddy Darter

Silver-washed Fritillary fem vaselina form

Silver-washed Fritillary fem vaselina form

Small Copper

Small Copper


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21st & 22nd July Two day Summer Wildlife Tour

A couple of great exclusive days with a couple looking at orchids, birds, plants dragonglies and butterflies.
The images paint the best picture of the great stuff we saw - see below.