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Saturday, 7 July 2012

Carlton Marshes Owl

At 11am today, I joined Rob Wil and then Andrew E along the dyke bordering the first field. Andrew E had an excellent Fen Raft Spider, perched on a lily at the back of the dyke showing both yel
low stripes down its abdomen. It was quite big appearing 2/3X the size of a 50p piece. It spent most of its time in this area occasionally venturing out slightly seen side on and then back on. As we watched this up to 3 Norfolk Hawkers patrolled the dyke only alighting very briefly on vegetation. Once an excellent Water Vole popped up right in front of us and surprised us all before all to quickly diving again and out of sight. Paul & Jane F joined us and we admired the Spider for a while longer before Rob, Andrew and then I left. By the nettle patch by the edge of the car park, Comma and Red Admiral butterflies showed briefly with the Red Admiral briefly alighting on my leg, warranting a pic! See above. Before leaving I checked the disused building and was amazed to see a Little Owl perched right out on one of the exposed roof beams and posed beautifully for a minute for the camera (I stayed in the car, using it as a mobile hide) before it flew a few metres south to the large trees by the silo. In the garden in the afternoon, I photographed a Common Blue, female damselfly, perched on a runner bean leaf. It was first spotted perched on the Lavender and then on the bean pole. At around 5pm, a grotty male Black- tailed Skimmer flew by the conservatory and then perched on the concrete slabs just by the back door, a new garden record of this species! A walk around Gunton meadow and woods, early evening revealed 142 Common Spotted Orchids in the Orchid field, 119 on the west side, 23 on the east side. In Gunton Woods, an incredible 842 Common Spotted Orchid counted there are almost definately more than these most probably over a 1000 in flower, an incredibly tally and great testimony to the excellent work done by the Gunton Woodlands Community Project volunteers!

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