Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Water Rail at Thompson Water, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Clouded Yellow on the patch.

Colton/Barford, Norfolk
Whilst on my rounds this morning at work I took a short break in the River Yare valley on the boundary between the small parishes of Barford and Colton.  This is a stunning location within some very rolling countryside with one or two steep climbs.
The most evident birds was a roaming flock of Tit species, mostly Long-tailed Tits.  Within this mobile flock a Willow Warbler passed through giving its "hooweet" call.

Little Cressingham, Norfolk
Having parked up close to 'The Arms' I walked north making for the Watton Brook area to check for signs of migrants and butterfly species.  The wide road margins have a variety of weed species which attract insects, it has always been good for 'blue butterflies' here.
Clouded Yellow at Little Cressingham 05/08/14
Always a butterfly rich area, it was clear that today several species were flying.  'Browns' appeared the most numerous and a beautiful Painted Lady was seen.
As I was walking along the lane, a very different and very bright yellow butterfly was moving quickly between flower heads.  My suspicions were confirmed when good views of this insect showed it to be a Clouded Yellow.
I was able to take this picture of the butterfly, however, there was no chance of getting a shot of it with the wings opened sadly.
Clouded Yellows are resident in North Africa and Southern Europe with a few reaching Britain each year.  In some years numbers can be quite high, others years low, nevertheless, I was very pleased to find this very scarce beauty on my patch.
My good friend Daniel Watson and myself saw a single Clouded Yellow in Little Cressingham about this time last year, however, that specimen was very much on the move with no opportunity for a photograph.
Little Cressingham (Watton Brook valley) 05/08/14.
Stopping in the Watton Brook valley, I checked the lush growth and fence-posts for signs of early migrants, but on this occasion it was fairly quiet.
The valleys and ditches all along the Watton Brook valley have always attracted me at this time of year, it is something about lush waterside vegetation and fencing which always holds an air of expectancy for me.
Species which I have regularly seen on passage in the valley include Whinchat, Wheatear, and Yellow Wagtails.
Impaled beetle near Bodney, Norfolk 31/08/14 (but no Shrike seen)

Rare and scarce birds also pass through and the last day of August in 2013, I found an impaled beetle species not too far from where this photograph was taken.  Clearly, the beetle was impaled by a Shrike species, probably Red-backed Shrike, a bird whose status is now regarded as a very scarce passage migrant whereas in the not too distant past it was a relatively common breeding bird.
You know where I will be throughout August and September

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