#30dayswild continued into day 23 which was a little damp and busy but I found time to catch up with not a bird but an orchid. I had heard that there were large numbers of bee orchids near the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on a roundabout near the new Round House Way development and there were. I have never seen these delicate creations in the flesh before and they didn’t disappoint.
The bee orchid is a creation of evolution designed to lure bees in with the promise of love and let them down badly after they have assisted with pollination. They are also flowers which will pop up in proliferation one year and then disappear the next so enjoy them whilst you can.
The orchids were unsurprisingly accompanied by bees which proved hard to capture but later near the village I caught up with another first and they have duly made it onto The Butterfly Collector Pages.
Large Skipper feeding on thistles made me think of little red riding hood in respect of the what big eyes you have.
Whilst birding was a secondary obsession on day 23 it was the primary objective of day 24 which was another busy day but presented an opportunity for a dusk walk and count at my local WEBS survey site. The benefit of a dusk walk is that all the waterfowl which are spread out during the day collect in the middle of the water when they roost allowing you to count them more accurately. And collect they did, but they were not the first highlight of my walk which was a huge buzzard which dropped out of an oak tree over my head which was followed by another pretty plant which I thought would be worth identifying.
Hedge Woundwort which reminds me of Watership Down
Next on the walk were a number of singing whitethroats and chiffchaff followed by another plant.
Common Spotted Orchid. It may be common and it was getting dark but it was delicate and made me consider carefully where I put my big feet.
Having waited for the birdlife my roost count presented loads including 50 black-headed gulls 49 Canada geese 140 Greylag geese and 54 Egyptian geese. Even taking into account the youngsters these are the biggest numbers of the geese I have seen locally.
Egyptian goose in record numbers at 54 birds
My evening walk was not over as I attempted to circumnavigate the mere I was frustrated by first local flooding and then a heavy burst of rain. In view of the inclement conditions I packed away my camera. whilst I had views of grey heron and listened to jays and blackbirds serenading the evening none were obvious photo opportunities .Then I walked round bend and a few feet in front of me was a fox playing with a recently killed mole. The fox was quite large but presumably a youngster and was toying with the mole like a cat with a mouse and was completely oblivious to me until I went for my camera and then it was gone…