BBB Hawkmoths and scarce orchids, North Norfolk, 26 May 2014

Bank holiday Monday on the North Norfolk Coast - we must be mad! Actually it wasn't too bad at the places we visited. First port of call was Holt Country Park where I wanted to catch up with the nationally scarce Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth and 3 of these beauties duly obliged around the flowering Red Campion close to the carpark. A wander down to the wet valley on the edge of the heath was more in hope than expectation but I did manage to find 2 rather early female Keeled Skimmers. At the traditional spot in the woods several Birdsnest Orchids were again present under beeches although it's fair to say that Belinda was underwhelmed with them!

Our only other significant stop was at Beeston Common, just east of Sheringham. Here orchids weren't exactly numerous as it's pretty early but several Southern Marsh Orchids were out and I also found 1 Heath Spotted Orchid and then a surprise Pugsley's Marsh Orchid. It's obviously just too early for Common Spotted Orchid but I did find one with one flower out! Common Blue butterfly, Speckled Woods and a soaring Sparrowhawk was about it.

Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth, Holt CP

Birdsnest Orchid, Holt CP

Pugsley's Marsh Orchid, Beeston Common

Common Spotted Orchid, Beeston Common

Heath Spotted Orchid, Beeston Common

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