Lesser Grey Shrike and Fen Orchids in East Norfolk, 11 June 2019

With the 2nd day in a row of being rained off work I decided to drag myself up to Horsey in the rain to see the Lesser Grey Shrike of the last few days.
The bird was showing on arrival but because of the the wet and windy conditions it remained quite distant and on the sheltered side of bushes on the north side of the Nelsons Head track. It was lovely through the scope though, an adult male with an extensive dark mask right up onto the forehead and a nice pinky flush to the breast and flanks. A male Marsh Harrier and a few Swifts were literally the only other birds I saw.

Lesser Grey Shrike

With the weather conditions making hanging around not a pleasant experience Pete Dolton and I walked back and when we went our separate ways I headed off into the Broads.

At my chosen destination I donned my wellies and sploshed along the paths. After a quick search I located some Fen Orchids in tip top condition and on closer inspection counted well over 50 of this rare plant. There were plenty of Southern Marsh Orchids too, including quite a few showing characteristics of the 'schoenophila' form which used to be regarded as Pugsley's until DNA analysis proved otherwise. A Bittern was booming and a Cuckoo calling before I headed back to the carpark to drain my wellies of water and wring my socks out! At the carpark I was asked by the warden what was in my carrier bag (my camera!) because they have already had an instance of Fen Orchid having been dug up this year - ffs! He asked that if anyone does see anything suspicious that they take a car registration if possible and report it to the NWT.

Fen Orchids

'schoenophila' Southern Marsh Orchids

       Marsh Thistle

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