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

THORPE MARSH: Late summer insects

27th August 2015

With autumn approaching and the nights already pulling in, I took the opportunity to take a late-afternoon stroll at Thorpe Marshes. I was optomistically hoping that an Osprey or wader sp. would fly over whilst I was there, but had no luck on either front. In fact birdwise 3 Tufted Ducks and a couple of House Martins were as good as it got.

I amused myself by checking the umbellifers for insects. Most of the Hogweed has gone to seed now, but in wet areas it has been replaced by Wild Angelica, which is also good for insects. There were lots of wasps, but also several species of hoverfly. Eristalis intricarius and Volucella inanis are both species that I have seen at Whitlingham, but these may be the first Thorpe Marsh records depending on if anyone else locally records hoverflies here reguarly. I saw at least one new hoverfly species, but frustratingly it can only be determined to a species pair (some people believe they are just one species). This was the thin and pointy Melangyna compositarum or labiatarum. I also got good pictures of an adult Parent Bug (I saw late instars of this species recently at Whitlingham) and a very patient Migrant Hawker.

Having checked my photos and lists from recent trips I have been able to add another three species. Firstly I had failed to add Toad (one seen in Trowse Woods last year), and much more recently I realised that the large leaves along the riverbank belonged to Butterbur, and the mildew on Field Maple is as you would expect, Maple Mildew.

944. Toad
945. Butterbur
946. Maple Mildew (Sawadaea bicornis)

I added three species on this particular visit. Tansy I suspect I have seen before here, but it wasn't on the list. The beetle Coccidula rufa is a member of the ladybird family, half of which don't actually look like ladybirds. Thanks to Mark for mentioning that it was present at Thorpe. Finally a common spider that also wasn't on my list, Four-spotted Orb-weaver. This takes me to 949, 51 to go until I get to 1000!

947. Tansy (another award winning photo here)

948. Coccidula rufa

949. Four-spotted Orb-weaver


  1. Hi James,
    I have just discovered your blog....
    don't really know how it missed my radar for so long...
    Birds and Beer!! What a combination...
    I regularly read The Breckland Birder...
    mainly because I used to live in Swaffham...
    and Eastern Bush Chat...
    where I found the link to your blog.

    I shall enjoy reading it....
    so I hope you've got moderation turned on for older posts...
    I'm bound to have a comment or two!

    Firstly, tho'...
    I think I'll lift an idea from your blog...
    that is to document and photograph all that we have on our 6.7acres of water meadow... Le Pré de la Forge.

    And you've also helped me with one identification... no.949... 4-Spotted Orb Weaver.... I saw one a couple of days ago, beside the front door...
    that one is bluer than your green one... hadn't had time to look it up, or photograph it... it seems to hide away all day, probably because of passage via the door.

    On the beer side, I see you have the badge of the wherry best that Norfolk has to offer... nice beer that...
    but here, in Central France we are well served with an area the size of Norfolk, famous for it's wine... there are now eleven micros...
    all organic! Their beer is good, too!

  2. Hi Tim, thanks for your comment. I'm glad the blog has provided you with with a bit of inspiration to document the wildlife on your local meadows. I struggled to maintain a written diary for too long, but for some reason I have been able to maintain this blog for nearly seven years now.

    Since starting the blog I've learnt to drive, so there is much less beer drinking going on now, but I still enjoy a pint now and again! Only yesterday I spoke to a friend who had holidayed in France and spent some time finding butterflies whilst cycling between vineyards!

    Yes comment moderation is on for all of the blog, so I'll keep an eye out for comments on older posts.

    All the best,