Monday, 9 September 2013

The Yare Valley and a Willow Emerald

With my planned house purchase starting to gather pace, i decided to spend sometime looking around the areas local to my current Norwich home, it may be the last chance i get to spend some time in the area.

On 30th August i wandered down to Marston Marshes, it was waiting on a call from the estate agents and needed to get out of the house to relieve the tension. Lots of people were out enjoying the sun, but the birds were not. Only 17 species were seen, a rather disappointing total if it were not for a female Redstart found along Marston Lane.

Visting the estate agents in North Walsham gave me the excuse to have a quick wander along the cliff top by Mundesley Holiday Camp on the 2nd September. The wind wasn't great for any migrants coming from the South-west. Two distant Arctic Skua and a few Sandwich Tern were out to sea, as well as the commoner gulls. A Yellow Wagtail flew west along the cliff, a handful of Swallow flew Eastward and a large flock of Linnet were on the nearby stubble field.

A walk along the River Yare from Trowse to Lakeham proved rather fruitless on the 3rd September, 3 young Willow Warbler, a family of 4 Mistle Thrush the probable highlights. I did spend a while however watching a Hornets nest near the electricity substation but didn't have my camera to take any photos.

Whitlingham has been the closest thing i have had to a patch in the city for the last 5/6 years, but i have neglected it of late. Starting at Trowse water meadows i was rewarded with a Kingfisher fishing from a perch, and also a family of Willow Warbler being feed in the river side willows. From Whitlingham Lane 2 Buzzard circled overhead a a Green Woodpecker was in a dead tree. The Little Broad was quiet but a close in Treecreeper was appreciated. On the river my the Water Sports Center a family was 4 Kingfisher were feeding and playing, and 2 Bullfinch flew across the river. The conservation area was rather noisy with lots of juvenile gulls harassing the adult birds. Walking clockwise my attention was caught by a bird flicking about the top of some alders, expecting a warbler i was surprised to see a Spotted Flycatcher. Not far away i found a family of Cetti's Warbler being feed in the scrub,  they looked fully fledged but still begged for food. Scanning Thorpe Station Marsh a lone Lapwing was the only bird i could see. The south show was equally quiet 2 further Kingfisher and a pair of Kestrel over the Meadow the only birds of note as i wandered home.

On Monday 9th September i wandered from Eaton to the UEA following the river year. I continued my trend for seeing Kingfisher everywhere i go with a family group of 3 on the River and another one on the UEA Broad. Other birds of note were 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Tawny Owl, the owls called for a couple of minutes before flying alone the woodland edge south of the UEA Broad. It was very strange hearing them call at 10.30am! But the highlight of the day was a probable Willow Damselfly found by the river. (i say probable because my damselfly ID isn't the best, so if some one could confirm the ID i would be grateful.) As far as i am aware this would be a new site for the species that seems to be spreading in East Anglia.


  1. Looks spot on for willow emerald to me Adam- nice one!
    You can see the pale pterastigmas, thorax has the thin yellow and black stripes and I think you can just about see the diagnostic yellow spur on the side of the thorax.
    Glad they have finally made it west along the Yare!

  2. Thank you for confirming the ID Ben, i was confident at the time but questioned myself later, i only ever saw those at Strumpshaw once, and vaguely remember Southern Emerald look similar. Do you know if there's a particular authority i should report the site to?

  3. Nice one, I didn't manage to get any photos. The site should be known now, I found out about it via the British dragonfly latest sightings: If you wanted to report it then Pam Taylor is the county dragon and damselfly recorder.