Hockwold Washes and an early morning surprise! 13 May 2017

With a bit of a dearth of bird action we plumped for a trip out west to Hockwold Washes (Lakenheath) today. The idea being to move on from there if anything good turned up. It didn't!

On route to Norwich via the back lanes I had a Little Owl near Morningthorpe plus Bullfinch and at least 10 Common Whitethroats.

Little Owl 

Meeting at Jus's he had a rare Pinion-spotted Pug in a pot that he'd trapped the night before (very few Norfolk records). That was trumped by a real 'morning glory' of the moth variety as we drove round to James Lowen's house to feast our eyes on a mega Emperor Moth, one I've wanted to see for a long long time! Iron Prominent, Least Black Arches and Swallow Prominent were also on view. After a chat and a cuppa we bid James farewell and hit the road.

male Emperor Moth

 Pinion-spotted Pug

We reached Hockwold Washes after a brief failure to find White Stork at Elvedon. A quick look from the bank directly opposite the centre and we'd scored with the 2 Black-winged Stilts and Glossy Ibis within a minute! The heavens opened so we beat a retreat to the centre for a coffee while we waited for it to stop. When it did we walked the length of the reserve to the Joist Fen watchpoint. En-route there and back we had a couple of Garden Warblers, c3 Cuckoos, Yellow Wagtail, 3 different flight views of Bitterns (we had 4 birds including boomers), superb views of a perched Hobby, food-passing Marsh Harriers, and Stock Dove amongst the commoner warblers. At the watchpoint c15 Hobbys were swooping over the fen with a large number of Swifts. Into the bargain we had the first odonata of the year in the form of 2 Hairy Dragonflies, a teneral Large Red Damselfly and an unidentified blue damsel. 

Garden Warbler


Orange Tip

Reed Bunting

After another quick look at the Glossy Ibis and Black-winged Stilts we decided to have  look on Foulden Common as the weather was starting to improve. With a bit of patience and work I found 1 Grizzled Skipper and c4 Dingy Skippers plus Holly Blue while 2-3 Garden Warblers were in full cry.

Grizzled Skipper

      Dingy Skipper


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