News archive

June 2019

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Hobby chasing dragonflies

Trip report: Coach trip to NWT Weeting Heath and RSPB Lakenheath Fen nature reserves

A near full coach set out to Norfolk on a warm sunny day.

Our first stop was Weeting, a small reserve on the Brecks, the unique rabbit-created heath habitat of East Anglia. We had great views of at least 3 stone curlews, the best many of us have had here. Normally there are problems with the heat haze of trying to see distant birds sitting on ground nests or resting (they're nocturnal). There were also lapwings with chicks, skylarks, and stock doves; with spotted flycatcher, marsh tit, yellowhammer and nuthatch in the woodland.

Onto Lakenheath: wall to wall singing blackcaps and reed buntings, many butterflies including Painted Ladies, and dragon and damselflies. At the New Fen Viewpoint there were flying hobbies, buzzards, and marsh harriers, with mute swans, great crested and little grebes, gadwall and tufted ducks, and reed warblers using the pool in front of us. Further on we enjoyed good views of a soaring buzzard, and heard cuckoos calling, with good views of a male flying back in response to the females bubbling call. At the Joist Fen viewpoint, we watched marsh harriers hunting and doing aerial food passes, hunting hobbies and kestrels, a flock of swifts, a water rail that broke cover, and great views of a diving common tern. On the return walk along the river we saw sedge warbler, flocks of lapwing, a banded demoiselle, shelduck, and several whitethroat families.