The Whitlingham Bird Report 2020 is available now (click here)

For previous years (2012-2019) see the links on the Whitlingham Bird List page.

YARE VALLEY: Cantley marsh plants

The grazing marshes at Cantley are usually off-limits to the public, but last week I took advantage of a Freshwater Habitats Trust training course to have a short walk along some of the dykes. The main purpose of the course was to show interested individuals how to identify Greater Water Parsnip and Tubular Water Dropwort, both rare plants but realtively common in certain parts of the broads. We found both without any problem here.

 Greater Water Parsnip
 Tubuler Water Dropwort

In addition to the target species we saw a range of other wetland plants, several of which were new for me. I thought I had seen Flowering Rush before, but apparently not, whilst I have probably been overlooking Sweet Flag, and wouldn't have been able to identify Shining Pondweed or Rigid Hornwort.

 Flowering Rush
 Sweet Flag
 Shining Pondweed
 Rigid Hornwort

In addition to the plants I managed to catch a Notch-horned Cleg before it bit me, and found a mating pair of Donacia marginata reed beetles. The latter was doubly pleasing in that I managed to key it out correctly and Martin Collier has told me that although it is quite widespread in the county, he doesn't have any previous records from Cantley. Thanks to Jeremy Halls and Pete Case for allowing me to attend the session.


  1. Brilliant opportunity. Love the hornwort.

    1. Yes, unless you are an ecological surveyor or work for the RSPB you're unlikely to be able to get out there. Yes the Hornworth was nice, partway between pincers and tuning forks.