Trip reports

Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve, Thorpe Marsh, Norwich

Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve, Thorpe Marsh, Norwich
Andrew Chilvers

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

We meet our guide, Chris Durdin at the rail bridge and as no one else had arrived set out on our walk.

This site, the first city/urban one for the trust, was purchased in 2011, and since then a lot of work has been undertaken to improve the habitat as well as providing facilities for pond dipping- but not today. Being winter the vegetation had died back but since our last visit new interpretation boards have been put up.

The first thing we were shown were willow emerald butterfly scars from the egg laying on branches. When ready to hatch the larva falls off into the water. Also present were oxeye daisies (must be hardy plants). The trust has laid out water vole housings that tell them if voles are present.

However, we were here for the birds and Daphne spotted a siskin; cormorant and snipe were flying over the reserve. Swan, pochard, shoveler, gadwall and tufted duck were on the pool. We had an excellent view of a lone male stonechat. Apparently a pair is seen here at this time of year.

Arriving at the pool meant we were about half way round. A good thing as the snow arrived with a vengeance and we made a hasty retreat off the reserve. There is no shelter.

Chris kindly offered us coffee, biscuits and somewhere to warm up. His garden produced stock dove, coal tit, magpie and others.

The NWT holds monthly guided walks at the reserve. Details can be found either in their events leaflet or website. No need to book, just turn up and take off but pick a better day than we did if you can.

Sue Bayliss