A weekend in the Suffolk Sandlings, 16 - 18 July 2021

This past weekend we had a 2-night 'wild' camping trip down into the Suffolk Sandlings in our motorhome. Setting off mid-afternoon on Friday and returning mid-afternoon on Sunday we spent one night in the Dunwich Forest and the 2nd night in the Tunstall Forest near Snape. The weather was hot and sunny and our chosen locations both really nice. 

It's a real joy to be so close to the action and watch Nightjars almost from the van with numerous Noctule Bats swirling around. Out on the same piece of heath by the carpark I also had Dartford Warbler, Stonechat, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Whitethroat, Yellowhammer and an amazing movement of c5000 Jackdaws! In the vicinity the plants were quite interesting too with one new one for me - Trailing St John's-wort plus Common Cudweed, Scarlet Pimpernel, Woodland Germander and Sticky Groundsel. Our 2 walks in the area produced Ruddy Darters, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Common Blue Damselfly, Small Copper, my first Grayling and Gatekeeper of the year together with Red Admiral, Large White, Peacock, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Comma, Small Skipper, Large Skipper and Essex Skipper. A single Silver-washed Fritillary passed through the carpark but didn't stop. 

When we re-located to the south we stopped by at Theberton Woods as it was en-route. Here a handful of Silver-washed Fritillaries and a single White Admiral were seen plus Dotted Loosestrife and Enchanters Nightshade.     

From our camping spot in the Tunstall Forest we had distant churring Nightjars and the added bonus of 2 Purple Hairstreaks in the top of an oak enjoying the last rays of sunlight of the day - as were we! 

On Sunday we walked and then visited Snape Maltings where Pantaloon Bee and Ruby-tailed Wasp were both seen at their holes on the sandy carpark

                                                                                                                              Trailing St John's-wort
                                                                                                                                             Ruddy Darter
                                                                                                                                   Dotted Loosestrife

                                                                                                                           Silver-washed Fritillary
                                                                                                                                            Pantaloon Bee

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