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Sunday, 18 May 2014

Holt Country Park & Sculthorpe Mill

Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth
Holt Country Park
I had heard from local birder Paul Lee via his FB page that Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moths were present in the carpark at Holt Country Park, so with the Norfolk Bird Fair now finished, I decided the early evening light was now perfect for attempting to photograph them.

They are stunning to watch, but don't hang about at each flower for more than a fraction of a second, sometimes a bit longer if you are lucky and quick with the camera – I tried my best! Pete Snook arrived in the carpark and we both had a lovely time, watching these sensational little creatures. Pete was attempting to video them! We also saw a Hornet!
Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth


Unfortunately the day ended on a rather a sour note. The entire time I was a here, a young couple with music blaring were parked only yards from where I was photographing. Pete and I quickly worked out why they remained here so long and kept staring at us as if they wanted us to go. There was no one else in the carpark. I will leave you to work out why they wanted us to go! As Pete said 'they will have to wait a long time'!!! A bit later, the lad's patience ran out as he scorched out of the carpark, wheelspinning the dust and stones everywhere in his frustration and anger. He did the same again so loudly when he pulled out onto the main road, that I thought he had crashed. It was quite intimidating when about a minute later they decided to return, again wheelspinning the whole carpark up with dust and parking in a different place out of our view. I was angry, like really angry, maybe he would like to pay for camera sensor and lens to be cleaned? Pete and I left and I so wanted to stop and say what I wanted to say, but obviously didn't and wouldn't have done. I mean for goodness sake, its a busy, popular public carpark, surely they could have found some quite lane somewhere!!!

Swan Cygnets at Sculthorpe Mill.

Grey Wagtails in fading light

Sculthorpe Mill
I went to Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve initally. The plan was to have a coffee and break in the carpark and see if there were any insects on plants outside the visitor centre or maybe spotted flycatchers to watch. But I was taken back when driving along the entrance track to find black & white road block posts at the end of the track! When I looked at the sign, it said the reserve carpark was open from 8am to 6pm. This has changed from when I last visited, as it was always open until dusk. So I decided to stop briefly at Sculthorpe Mill instead.

I am glad I did! Fabulous time here watching Swans with fluffy white cygnets dabbling in the mill pond. But best of all though, were two stunning Grey Wagtails flitting about, feeding in the pebbly stream and landing on the pub roof! One of the wagtails sat in the weeping willow tree for a long time having a preen. The light was very dark and I was unable to take any spectacular pictures, so only record shots I'm afraid.

Managed to get home and safely, but was completely and utterly exhausted! The end to a spectacular weekend! Lay in tomorrow morning I think! Oh and just to remind you all, I am still on holiday for the rest of the week!

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