Flowers fly into the lead

In the evening Brenda and I had a walk at Blakeney harbour and then met up with Mark again at Kelling Heath in search of nightjars.

“You do know this will never float?”, Mr W Pigeon, Blakeney resident

We saw good numbers of linnets and heard a turtle dove, but it was generally quite quiet until about 9.40pm when we heard, and then saw quite well, our first nightjar. After that, for the next forty minutes or so, we heard and saw three or more birds. I had bought my thermal camera and got some reasonable footage.

nightjars at Kelling Heath

Brenda writes: “The moth trap was busy again with good numbers of the usual suspects. Interestingly I’m now beginning to get paler common wainscots, and I had another of the green immigrant tortrix viridana. There were two new moths for the year, middle-barred minor and double square-spot, which has striking markings.

middle-barred minor
double square-spot

Steve and I had things to do during the day and decided to go out later – it was too hot for most of the day anyway. We started off at Blakeney harbour & walked towards Cley. On the way I noticed that the privet, which grows wild on verges, is now in flower. On the walk I also identified another member of the trefoil family, hop trefoil, which I now realise is growing in our garden.

hop trefoil

Wild carrot is a distinctive member of the umbellifer family and is now coming into flower, as is  sea lavender on the salt marshes. Hedge bindweed and field pepperwort completed my list of new species for the walk but the sight that gave me the greatest pleasure was a lovely patch of common toadflax. I’m more used to seeing it surviving on the edge of roads than in a saltmarsh.

common toadflax

Having grabbed some fish and chips in Holt we went to Kelling Heath where the colour pallet has completely changed. Last time it was dominated by the gold of the gorse and broom, and the rusty brown of the sheep’s sorrel. Now they have given way to the deep pink of the bell heather. There’s also lots of viper’s bugloss which we used to see regularly around Thetford forest as it likes sandy soil on lime.

viper’s bugloss

The white-flowered field rose was scrambling up through the trees and I spotted heath groundsel. Common groundsel is a rather untidy plant. Heath groundsel by contrast grows tall on a straight stalk with a rayed head of single flowers. As it started to get dark it was thrilling to see silver y moths feeding on a flowering shrub and brambles, but the highlight of the visit was, of course, the nightjars, the best views I have ever had.”

field rose

New species for June 19th:
Moths: middle-barred minor, double square-spot
Flowers: privet, hop trefoil, wild carrot, sea lavender, field pepperwort, bell heather, field rose, heath groundsel

Birds = 203
Moths = 118
Wildflowers = 210