|View from Fen Hide|
|Norfolk Hawker (30)|
Norfolk hawkers are so called because in the UK they were only found in Norfolk Broads. In Europe, however, they are more widespread and are more commonly known as green-eyed hawkers (how original). These locally rare dragonflies were also once widespread across Britain too, but water pollution and habitat management caused their population to be reduced to exist only in Norfolk. Thankfully, pollution in recent years has been reduced in our waterways and the species has recovered to the point that it has started to spread into Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. They prefer ditches which have water soldier growing in it, as they use it to lay their eggs between the leaves. As long as you have that and clean water, they should eventually reach other parts of their old range once again. For now, Norfolk hawkers are the second most sorted after insect at Strumpshaw after the swallowtail, with many people travelling for miles to see them.
|Posing with Dr George McGavin|
|I rescued this young Dunnock from being trapped inside the Reception Hide!|
|Peregrine Chick at Norwich Cathedral|
Finally, on a sad note, I have heard the sad news that Dr Martin George has passed away this week. He was an environmentalist and keen naturalist on the Norfolk Broads and he was one of the people responsible in founding Strumpshaw Fen as a nature reserve. I met with him once at the Norfolk Community Biodiversity Awards in 2014. I was given a highly commended award for my volunteering services and inspiring others as an autistic naturalist. He, on the other hand, was given the lifetime achievement award for his work and studies on the Broads. After the ceremony, he came up to me and talked to me about the wildlife of Strumpshaw as if I was the one who had won the highest honour. He was a great man and was kind enough to allow visitors to view the swallowtails from his private cottage garden, which is just next door to the reserve. I would like to say that if you are seeking for swallowtails there, please be respectful. The swallowtails may be there, but he isn't. They are a fitting tribute to a great friend to Strumpshaw Fen. He will be missed.