The Critically Endangered Red Hemp Nettle

On Sunday Belinda and I headed up to NW Norfolk armed with directions of how to find Red Hemp Nettle at Snettisham RSPB reserve. It was a spot Belinda had never visited before either so the perfect excuse for a long walk too. Let's face it, all walks at Snettisham seem to be long!

Thanks to excellent directions I found Red Hemp Nettle in good numbers in one particular spot then a single large clump very close by. Apparantly this has been a good year for this red data book plant which occurs only on the shingle here and at Dungeness plus a couple of inland sites. The species is being carefully managed at Snettisham so hopefully it's future there is secure. Also seen on our walk were loads of Sea Campion, Carline Thistle, Common Storksbill, Yellow Horned Poppy and some Sea Aster of note plus Common Fleabane and Marsh Woundwort by the carpark. Also of much note was a purring Turtle Dove but other than good numbers of raucous Common Terns the birds were generally disappointing as the tide was way out. Butterflies included Brown Argus, Common Blue, Brimstone, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Red Admiral.

When we eventually made it home we popped out to Dickleburgh Moor for half an hour in the evening and found 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 7 Green Sandpipers, 2 Common Sandpipers, c6 Yellow Wagtails, Stock Dove and the sight of 13 Grey Herons in flight together.

Red Hemp Nettle

Sea Aster

Sea Campion

Carline Thistle

       Common Fleabane

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