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

NORWICH: Return to Catton Park

21st June 2017

At the start of the year I had decided that I would take advantage of being quite close to Catton Park by visiting at least once a month to track the changes through the year. This lasted until March, then basically the amount of wildlife increased and I split my time between Whitlingham, target species and various other ventures. On Wednesday the weather had reached a warm but not stifling balance, so I decided to pop down after work for an hours walk around.

As it was the start of rush hour I decided that instead of crossing the ring road and heading to the Oak Lane entrance (a walk that would have resembled the start of Horace Goes Skiing), I would cross at the traffic lights and go in through the woods. This immediately paid off as I was only a few paces in when I saw a Vole pearing out of its burrow. It watched me, I watched it. After a minute I reached for my camera, and it vanished into the hole.

With the visit already worthwhile, I had a wander out of the woods and into the meadow, where there was a (probably seeded) area of wildflowers, mostly Ox-eye daisies. A number of moths were flying, but on closer inspection most of them were Garden grass-veneers, which look surprisingly big in flight. I did find a more interesting moth though, the Triple-stripe Piercer (Grapholita compositella). After checking at home I found that this was a new TG21 record, which was satisfying.

A detour to check out an area of bare sandy soil was interesting, because there was a large area of Corn Spurrey, which I'd only seen as an arable weed once before. There was also a fumitory growing nearby.

Back to the meadow, and several Merodon equestris hoverflies were picked out, as well as a Slender-striped Robberfly. This species, which like the piercer was a new one for me, holds its body in a distinct pose, looking a bit like a stubby damselfly.

A quick walk across part of the parkland turned up a few common beetles and bugs, and some dried specimens of Common Broomrape. I should probably make sure I return in July!

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