Weekend wanderings, 23 - 25 February 2024

After a bit of a lull due to illness and general winter blues this weekend was busy and very enjoyable.

For our Friday walk we chose West Harling Woods where the nature highlights were a bit sparse. It's hard to sneeze at Scarlet Elf Cups though - and we found plenty. The other main fungal find was Purplepore Bracket.

                                                                                                                                 Scarlet Elfcups

Fast forward to Saturday and a day to myself. I started out at the John Innes Conference Centre in Colney, Norwich. Here the flock of 28 Waxwings were present on arrival and watched for some while commuting between a berry-laden cotoneaster and the safety of a large oak. Talking to Grahan Etherington there he confirmed that a colour-ringed bird there was rung in Elgin and has now made it to Norwich via Carlisle! 2 Grey Wagtails were also seen plus a Little Egret on the marsh behind the church on Old Watton Road. Moving on to my other venue for the day Earlham Cemetery I had a particular ladybird species I wanted to try and find. Luck was on my side because the 2nd individual I looked at was Eyed Ladybird, my much wanted target! While mooching about I found several other species - Cream-spot Ladybird, 10-spot Ladybird of 2 different forms (bimaculata and decempunctata), 7-spot Ladybird, Orange Ladybird and the ubiquitous Harlequin Ladybird in many different guises. Other really pleasing find were a distinctive Humped Orbweb Spider, Gibbaranea gibbosa shaken from a Larch and the hoverfly Tapered Drone Fly, Eristalis pertinax. Both were new to me.   


                                                                                                                                Eyed Ladybird
                                                                                                           10-spot Ladybird, form bimaculata
                                                                                                  10-spot Ladybird, form decempunctata
                                                                                                                              Cream-spot Ladybird
                                                                                                                          Humped Orbweb Spider
                                                                                                                                    Tapered Drone Fly

Sunday saw us in the Yare Valley south of the river. Before we walked at Rockland Broad and Wheatfen a scan of the flock of Pink-footed Geese at Langley Green revealed the hoped-for Ruddy Shelduck. Also notable were 8 Greenfinches by the Rockland Staithe carpark.


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