Trip reports

North Cove SWT Reserve Thursday May 12

North Cove SWT Reserve Thursday May 12
Andrew Chilvers

Friday, 13 May 2016

A little problem with parking as the car park is so small, but a very kind lady, a friend of Charles, allowed some of us to park on her driveway. Just before we crossed the railway line we saw a bloody-nosed beetle. These beetles are black and flightless and can be seen walking along the ground or on low vegetation. The name derives from its defence mechanism, when breathed on the beetles secrete a blood-red liquid from the mouth which irritates the mouths of mammals. We then saw our first blue damselfly. Lots of woodland birds were singing including robin, wren, chiffchaff, chaffinch and song thrush. A jay was also seen along here. A few yards along the path after entering the reserve there was a large old Triad's saddle fungus at the bottom of one of the trees which interested quite of lot of people. The path was very spongy but not too wet. The weather was ideal, warm and sunny and the meadow was looking good with lots of ladies smock flowers and hence a lot of orange tip butterflies also a female brimstone and a holly blue butterfly. Further along we had a brief glimpse of a grass snake in the dyke. At the hide there was a male and a female pheasant, usually there are many more as it is a favourite feeding place because the regular visitors and the wardens and work parties always put out bird food for them. Beccles Bird Club and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust have weekly work parties there and always keep a good supply of food for the birds. Blue tits and great tits came to the bird table and a marsh tit also put in an appearance as we left the area around the hide. We had a lovely view of a kestrel standing on a fence and then taking off and hovering above us. We saw a buzzard, marsh harrier and heard green woodpeckers on the reserve too.
After completing our circular walk of the reserve we took the path down to the River Waveney, along the path we had our first sightings of the year of the hairy dragonfly and large red damselfly which pleased Edwina and me no end. We also saw comma, peacock and speckled wood butterflies. Along the river bank we heard sedge warblers and Cetti's warblers and saw a pair of swans take off from the river, always a wonderful sight! We then made our way back to the car park and although we did not actually see many birds as the trees are now coming into full leaf which makes it difficult to spot them, we heard a lot and we did see a great variety of wild flowers, butterflies, dragonflies and insects and everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves. I thank them all for coming along on the walk and making it such an enjoyable outing. Special thanks to the lady who came all the way from Felixstowe to take part in the walk.
Pat Chilvers