This week has seen a fairly mild air mass over us and has brought a few hot days as well as small amount of much needed rainfall, more is predicted for the coming weekend too.

 The highlights this week have once again gone to the butterflies, with silver-washed fritillaries, white admirals, and the first sighting of white-letter hairstreak of the year. A swallowtail was seen on Monday and Tuesday, but they are very few and far between now, maybe we will see more in early August if there is a second brood this year.

Juvenile marsh harriers: Elizabeth Dack

The 'odd' hobby: Elizabeth Dack

 Bitterns have been seen in flight from Reception, Fen and Tower Hides. The juvenile marsh harriers have become a bit more independent and can now be seen exploring the fen and talon grappling with each other…until a parent comes in with food that is! There has been an odd looking hobby on show from Reception and Fen Hide all week, this bird has been posing nicely in the dead trees between the two hides, it lacks the red trousers of an adult but lacks the scaly back of a juvenile, so it could be a second summer bird, rarely seen in the UK.. The meadow barn owls have fledged or at least have partially fledged so can be seen peaking out of the box along the pumphouse track every now and then. Finally,… the kingfishers are being seen more frequently now, so we are hoping that they have been successful with their second brood…time will tell.

 This week’s butterflies and dragonflies seen are as follows




red admiral

azure damselfly

large red damselfly



banded demoiselle

Norfolk hawker

common blue

silver washed fritillary

black tailed skimmer

red eyed damselfly

Essex skipper

small skipper

blue-tailed damselfly

ruddy darter


small white

brown hawker

scarce chaser

holly blue

speckled wood

common darter

small red eyed damselfly

large skipper


common emerald damselfly

willow emerald damselfly

meadow brown

white admiral

four-spotted chaser


white letter hairstreak

hairy dragonfly


Moths have continued to be found in decent numbers throughout the week, with ‘enchanters mompha (terminella)’ being the highlight as well as noticing the continued spread of small dotted footman a relatively new red data book species to the reserve. A trap on Wednesday night held 135 species, one of which could be a third record for Norfolk!

The wet grassland at Buckenham is seeing its continued passage waders of, there have been lower numbers than in the last update but still 34 black-tailed godwits, three green sandpipers, common sandpiper, little ringed plover, ten ruff as well as avocets, lapwings, redshanks, hobby, marsh harriers and a red kite.

 The paths are in good condition and even the meadow trail has mostly dried out now so has become easier to walk though and enjoy. We are getting into the hay cutting window in the meadows, so please pay attention to the signage on the reserve, the first meadow is likely to stay open throughout the hay cut, but the second (riverside) meadow will be closed for cutting, turning and bailing.