Norfolk 2015

This time last month I was in north Norfolk with my family for a well deserved break. It wasn’t as productive for wildlife or relaxing as I would have liked, however I thought I would share some of my highlights with you. Mostly just photos. Sorry that it has taken me a month to write this, I have been working full time for the last month and haven’t had the time really. Some exciting stuff coming up I hope though. All involving bees!

My favourite place that we went was Holkham National Nature Reserve.Wwe went there with my dog for an hour or so and I decided I would leave the others and come back there the next day for a full day of relaxing in the way I know best.. finding, recording and photographing wildlife. So I parked up and headed to the beach. The beach is very popular with tourists but is so huge that it is rather deserted. Holkham also has a mix of other habitats including salt marsh, sand dunes, pine woodland and grazing marsh. I decided to mainly explore the beach and sand dunes, although I did explore the woodland and grassland areas a bit. Like all good fieldwork in beautiful places, it is best to carry it out barefoot, must easier to connect with the habitats you are in that way!


Holkham beach

Walking boots optional

Walking boots optional

The transition of habitats from beach to dunes and saltmarsh was rather exciting for me. I live in a landlocked county as far from the sea as you can in Britain so the sea and surrounding habitats always fill me with excitement.


One thing I did notice about this landscape is how blue it is, common sea lavender dominates the lanscape around Holkham and was wonderful to see.


Common Sea-lavender (Limonium vulgare)

Here are some of my other highlights from the site:

Adonis' Ladybird

Adonis’ Ladybird (Adonia variegata)

Grayling butterfly

Grayling butterfly (Hipparchia semele)

Sea holly

Sea holly (Eryngium maritimum)

Bombus barbutellus and Bombus rupestris

Bombus barbutellus and Bombus rupestris

Sea thrift

Sea thrift (Armeria maritima)

Epeolus variegatus

Epeolus variegatus – a cuckoo bee

Although Holkham was by far my favourite place of the trip, I also saw some nice things elsewhere.

Roesel's bush cricket

Roesel’s bush cricket (Metrioptera roeselii)

Bar-tailed godwit. Thanks to Sophie for the ID

Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica). Thanks to Sophie for the ID

Antler moth

Antler moth (Cerapteryx graminis)

Cerceris rybyensis pair with prey

Cerceris rybyensis pair with prey


Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)


Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

Dune Villa

Dune Villa (Villa modesta)

Mottled Grasshopper

Mottled Grasshopper (Myrmeleotettix maculatus)

Sandwich Tern

Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)

Bee Wolf

Bee Wolf (Philanthus triangulum)

We were staying on a lovely farm so I put my moth bulb on for a few hours on two of the nights and found 39 species of moth which was good.  There was also a grey partridge that visited the garden among other things

Grey Partridge

Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix)

Green woodpecker from the garden

Green woodpecker (Picus viridis)

Dusky sallow

Dusky sallow (Eremobia ochroleuca)

Violet Ground Beetle

Violet Ground Beetle (Carabus violaceus)

Ringed China-mark Parapoynx stratiotata

Ringed China-mark (Parapoynx stratiotata)

Even thought it was a family holiday I managed to find 38 species that I have not seen before, they can be seen in the table below

Preferred name Common name
Perdix perdix Grey Partridge
Polypodium interjectum Intermediate Polypody
Aethusa cynapium Fool’s Parsley
Atriplex laciniata Frosted Orache
Atriplex portulacoides Sea-purslane
Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima Sea Beet
Cakile maritima Sea Rocket
Eryngium maritimum Sea-holly
Euphorbia paralias Sea Spurge
Fallopia convolvulus Black-bindweed
Hippophae rhamnoides Sea-buckthorn
Honckenya peploides Sea Sandwort
Limonium vulgare Common Sea-lavender
Mentha suaveolens Round-leaved Mint
Mimulus guttatus Monkeyflower
Salsola kali subsp. kali Prickly Saltwort
Spergularia media Greater Sea-spurrey
Suaeda vera Shrubby Sea-blite
Broscus cephalotes
Carabus violaceus Violet Ground Beetle
Hippodamia variegata Adonis’ Ladybird
Erythromma viridulum Small Red-eyed Damselfly
Bombus barbutellus Barbut’s Cuckoo Bee
Epeolus variegatus
Lasius fuliginosus Jet Ant
Philanthus triangulum Bee Wolf
Catoptria falsella Chequered Grass-veneer
Cerapteryx graminis Antler Moth
Chiasmia clathrata Latticed Heath
Discestra trifolii Nutmeg
Eucosma cana Hoary Belle
Idaea biselata Small Fan-footed Wave
Parapoynx stratiotata Ringed China-mark
Udea lutealis Pale Straw Pearl
Xanthorhoe quadrifasiata Large Twin-spot Carpet
Philonicus albiceps Dune Robberfly
Rhagio tringarius Marsh Snipefly
Villa modesta Dune Villa

You can also see the main place I visited here:

Thanks for reading, I will be back on Wednesday to promote a guest blog post that I have written for Alice Hunter on wildlife that can be found in your garden at this time of year.

5 responses to “Norfolk 2015

  1. Great post – you saw lots of wildlife on your trip and the beach looks lovely! I’ve never been to Norfolk.

  2. Lovely! Sea Lavender is a plant I’ve grown to love, what with living in the Solent surrounded by the remaining saltmarsh. It makes Langstone Harbour look so pretty 🙂

  3. There is a special bleakness about the North Norfolk Coast that I find appealing, did you see any seals?

  4. Pingback: A Reflection on 2015 | Ryan Clark Ecology

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