The Whitlingham Bird Report for 2016 is now available to download here.

The previous reports are also availble: 2015 here,
2014 report here and the 2013 report here. Thanks to everyone who has contributed sightings, information and photos to these reports.

You may also be interested in Chris Durdin's Thorpe Marsh Wildlife Report for 2016, which is available

NORTH NORFOLK: Knapweed Broomrape

12th July 2015

On Sunday afternoon we went back to North Walsham to see friends, but we left a bit early to check out a couple of roadside nature reserves. My targets were Knapweed Broomrape and Purple Broomrape, two parisitic plants that I had searched for earlier in the season before they had emerged. The first one was the easiest to find - Knapweed Broomrape is also known as Tall Broomrape, and having located some Greater Knapweed I soon saw several spikes of it's companion plant. The flowers were old and orangey-brown, but still had attracted several insects including a Hairy Shieldbug.

I had less luck at the second site, with no sign of any Purple Broomrape. It might not have flowered there this year, but it might just be that I left it too late in the season. It wasn't a complete loss though, as well as my first Gatekeeper of the year I also saw a Latticed Heath moth, a new species for me.

In addition to the two Broomrapes I have seen (Common and Knapweed), and the one I missed (Purple), Great Broomrape also grows in Norfolk. It was thought extinct for a time, but found again on private land somewhere a few years back. It may well be re-found elsewhere in the county, so if you see a large Broomrape plant growing close to gorse or broom (it's main host plants) on land with public access then I would appreciate an email!

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