A visit to Grimes Graves near Thetford was made on the way.It is a neolithic flint mine,interesting for its crater pocked landscape and an open pit showing flint seams in the chalk.There were skylarks,swifts and a kestrel here as well as a Mother Shipton moth.
After a bite to eat headed straight for Strumpshaw Fen, my main purpose for this trip was to see the swallowtail butterflies that breed in the fens.They only breed in the Norfolk fens as the caterpillar feeds exclusively on milk parsley unique in the fens of Norfolk.
Unfortunately the clouds had rolled in by the time we got there and none were seen.Strumpshaw is very similar to Stodmarsh with the same resident birds and reed beds and three well positioned hides around the reserve.
So off to the hotel for a bath then into Norwich for a couple of beers and a curry.
Sunday went into Norwich visited the cathedral a fine building with the added bonus of a peregrine family on the spire.
Lunch was taken at the Adam &Eve a very old pub in the shadow of the spire.
ADAM &EVE est 1249 700 years older than me.
After a visit to auntie Delias at Carrow Road,she wasn`t in, we headed for the coast at Great Yarmouth a typical seen better days seaside town a bit shabby and run down trying hard to keep up appearances,must be doubly difficult this year.
CARROW ROAD CANARY
LESSER BLACK BACK AT NOT SO GREAT YARMOUTH.
Inggerland were playing Italia in the evening so we had an early dinner at the "MARSH HARRIER"
and got back to the hotel to watch the game,wish we hadn`t, yawn yawn same old story,and the roast dinner was worse.
THE MARSH HARRIER
Monday morning back to Strumpshaw Fen,still cool and cloudy,no joy,so headed for Cromer,calling in at Fellrigg Hall on the way,a typical Nat Trust country pile with the usual stuff a nice walled garden was the high light.There was also a large collection of stuffed birds,including many rare and endangered species,wonder if they would be so rare if our beloved aristocracy hadn`t killed so many for their pleasure and "sport".
Cromer is a pleasant town in comparison to Yarmouth with a handsom church and some interesting shops.
The sun was threatening to emerge and it was definitely warmer so back to Strumpshaw for a third attempt,it took almost an hour to get there and yes the clouds won again ,no swallowtails.
After a good soak in our luxury bath it was back into Norwich to the FAT CAT Norfolks pub o the year...would you believe 39 different real ales available?
I only had two both local brews and very palatable.Fancy a curry ,tried to find another ,but ended up at the ROTI again,equally as tasty tho not so busy as saturday.
Tuesday the last chance for the swallowtails to see me,it was sunny but not forecast to last so after breakfast and check out we hightailed it to you know where.
At last conditions were ideal and I soon spotted a swallowtail flitting over the reeds then another and two more,no posing for photos tho.On the way back we stopped to look in a rough field near the railway and found two more,I thought my luck was in as one flew quite close stopping briefly to inspect the vegetation but not long enough and he was off on the breeze faster than I could follow and that was that.
Back to the meadows to find the Norfolk Hawkers,these proved a little easier as there were plenty on view along the dykes.
SOUTHERN MARSH ORCHID
Although the weather was not up to much,it was an enjoyable few days away .