During a family orientated long weekend away in Essex we did little nature spotting, despite the fact we got lucky and avoided most of the rain so on Tuesday Laura, Agnes and myself with the sun shining decided to go for a walk around Blickling. Leaving the car park we decided to walk the Monument Loop, rather than usual Lake route,we soon saw a few Hornets among the ivy on a hedge and quite a few butterflies where making the most of the sun, Red Admiral, Large White, Comma and Speckled Wood all close by.
Bird and wildlife was very limited but Agnes spotted a decorated stone, part of the summer craze 'Norfolk Rocks' (where children and adults decorated, hid and hunted and re-hid stones, a great idea getting children out doors and creative) anyway we spent the rest of our walk eyes peeled and found 20/30 moving a few and keeping one as a souvenir. Agnes was so excited by finding a colourful stone! It wasnt just decorative stones we spotted, surprisingly by the Monument, away from the Lake lots of recently emerged darter dragonflies flew around, and Agnes found a Small Emerald Moth in the grass, i new species for my list. Also a sure sign that summer has given way to Autumn was the emergence of quite a bit of fungus. The most striking being this Parasol sp.
The Essex trip wasn't devoid of wildlife, we saw Elephants, Giraffes and Rhinos but that was at Colchester Zoo! Native species wise, we did see a large shoal of Mullet from Southend Pier, they followed the in coming tide over the mudflats hoovering up anything that decided to craw out of the mud, in water hardly deep enough for them to swim. A few dragonflies at Wat Tyler Country Park and bats flying around at dusk in South Benfleet the other highlights.
I recently moved back to North Walsham and needing a new local patch, I soon settled on a few of my old favourite sites, but they were spread around town. All are close to the old railways track beds and my new house sits at the apex of all 5 lines that once radiated out from North Walsham, these form the arteries joining everything up. My 'Birding Alone Old Lines' patch was born, revisiting the old birding sites of youth, via the Old Railway Newtworks.