Top 10 wildlife in SummerNorfolk has some of the best wildlife in the county. Here Norfolk Wildlife Trust's David North gives us his Top 10 wildlife spectacles to look out for during the summer.
Details of the reserves mentioned below can be found here.
1 Bewitching Bats: As those nights are getting warmer, get outside and go on a bat watch! An evening walk with a bat detector on a still night at this time of year is likely to prove successful. If you need a helping hand in getting started, investigate NWT's Bat Watch. Some to look out for include large, fast-flying noctule bats that are commonly seen near woods in the last half hour before dusk, whilst after dark, soprano and pipistrelles are common. Impressively, a single Pipistrelle Bat can eat up to 3,000 insects in one night!
2 Dancing Dragonflies: Freshwater marshes provide the second wave of dragonflies reaching its peak this July. Look now for common and ruddy darters, southern and brown hawkers, and common blue damselflies. Can't tell one dragonfly from another? The NWT's Upton Fen has dragonfly walks. Don’t forget, it's important to send your records to Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service to help support your county in recording and protecting its wildlife.
4 Feeding Flyers: Whilst you may have been able to hear their impressive booming calls throughout spring, early summer is now the chance to catch a glimpse of the rare bittern in the air. See if you can spot both marsh harriers and bitterns flying to their nests to feed the hungry mouths of their young. The bittern is one of the rarest breeding birds in the UK and a Red List species, most notable around the Norfolk Broads, so don't miss out in sighting this spectacular species. If you would like to support the native Bittern further, consider joining the Norfolk Wildlife Trust both as a member and as a volunteer to help with reed bed management, the bird's natural habitat.
Where to go birdwatching in Norfolk.
9 Marine Life: August sees the start of National Marine Week so what better way to celebrate than to get outside and explore the shore. NWT's Coastal Capers event at Cley Marshes should get you in the mood, with games and stories to keep the little ones entertained. Marine wildlife is as strange, beautiful, diverse and important as any on land and Norfolk provides the perfect setting to discover it, with the world's longest chalk reef just off the coast.
Why our Cromer crabs are the best tasting in the UK.
10 Insect Invasion: It is to the insects that August really belongs. Now, every patch of short grass is loud with the chirps of field grasshoppers, patches of lank grass are full of the whine of Roesel's bush-crickets, and in tangles of brambles sound the quiet chirrups of dark bush-crickets. At this time of year swarms of second-generation seven-spot ladybirds may also occur. Come along to NWT's Minibeast Hunt at Hickling Broad for the chance to forage among the foliage and search between the sedge for any minibeast which may be waiting.
Details of the reserves mentioned above can be found here.