The three target species for the day were golden oriole, Stone curlew and montagu's harrier. Unfortunatly we only managed one of these but a nice day still.
First stop Lakenheath -
We heard the golden oriole but no sightings from us which was a shame. nice views of a bittern and a marsh harrier from the watch point were a consolation. Also here we watched the activities of fledgling reed warblers which was most interesting. One was begging for food from another which seemed confused by the situation:
Also here on the dragonfly front were..
Ruddy darter, either a female or a freshly emerged male (i think?):Brown hawker
Four spotted chaser
Lots of ringlet and meadow brown:Orange tip:singing male Reed bunting:From here we went to see stone curlew and had wonderful views. My first time seeing these and it was fantastic, we even saw one stone curlew chase of a 'proper' curlew - most interesting!
Whilst watching the stone curlew a small orange butterfly caught my eye and it turned out to be a small copper:We then went to try and find the monties. This turned out to be tense as surprisingly we had 5+ sightings of male marsh harriers quartering the same farm fields we were checking for monties. Having never seen them in that environment they were not expected and got our heart racing each time. It's not often that you are disapointed when a bird of prey turns out to be a marsh harrier.
2 of male marshies we seen flying towards the coast after a successful catch:We then visited RSPB tichwell :
highlights on the bird front were;
little gull:Several marsh harrier
Spotted redshank:Avocet (watch out below!!):Other highlights included
Southerrn Marsh orchid (not looking at their best now):Painted ladies (the downfall of thistles has commenced..):
The weather was fascinating with cold air coming in off the sea there was a thick mist rolling on to the reserve in patches. When it hit you it felt like aircon - very nice on such a hot day!
Here is an 'arty' shot showing the mist with startlings and avocet. I should add that there were clear blue skies above when this was taken!