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NORFOLK: Late July round-up and patch 100

Late July 2013

With my wedding fast approaching (along with a house move and new job) updates may be sporadic over the summer, for which I apologise.

Last week Cathy & I headed down to Lynford Arboretum, where we were lucky enough to get brief views of one of the juvenile Two-barred Crossbills that has been present for the last week or so. Also in the flock was a 'wing-barred' Common Crossbill, the first time I can remember seeing one although apparently it isn't that unusual.

At the weekend I had a walk around Mousehold. Given its relative height and areas of coniferous trees it is probably the best bet of finding a Crossbill on the outskirts of Norwich, but there was no sign of any today. After the weeks of wall-to-wall sunshine it was overcast, so it wasn't great for butterflies either, mostly just Large Whites and Gatekeepers.

Today I headed down to Thorpe Marsh via Carey's Meadow, where the Roesel's Bush Crickets were calling loudly. At Thorpe the scrape was completely dry, so no chance of a decent wader. Scanning the vegetation at the edge of the ditches I found a green Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar. This confused me a bit, as the ones I've seen before have been brown, but apparently they start green and then turn brown for their final instar. The walk ended on a high note, as I reached the river I saw a Little Egret standing on the far bank. This was only the second Little Egret I have seen here, the first on the deck and more importantly my 100th patch bird of the year! Almost two months since my 99th bird on 29th May. Hopefully I don't have to wait another two months for the 101st one.

Patch Egret. A boat flushed it 30 seconds later, completing the Whitlingham experience.

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