As bank holiday weekends go, this last one was practically perfect in every way. Sandwiched between a pyjama day on Sunday, I spent Saturday and Monday at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen and Buckenham Marshes. The sun was out, the cuckoos were calling, the bitterns booming, and if I listed every single species I saw this post would be really, really, really long, and probably rather boring. I had a tough time whittling down the pictures to a number that wouldn’t immediately max out my storage space on wordpress- but hopefully these capture something of how varied it was.

In total I saw four common lizards; they were all very small so probably very young. Surprisingly they were unperturbed when I approached them with my camera, making sure I didn’t block their sun. I’m always pretty pleased at the level of detail which a long lens can pick up, but this was the first time I’d managed to photograph them with a macro, and was amazed as the mixture of hues making up the scales of the lizards with patches of red, beige, black, brown, green and orange all on a single individual. I was also really chuffed to see my first grass snake of the year (again, a young one) on a fallen log- so far all my sightings have been of them have been of long tails as they slithered away.


Reptiles aside, the cowslips were looking yellow and happy and the woodland walk had a spectacular blanket of bluebells to be seen towards the end of the trail. My first cuckoo flower of the year was also perched precariously near a ditch edge- it’s getting towards the time of year when the Strumpshaw meadows will become a botanical nirvana and the reserve’s highland cattle were lazily working their way through the sedges. I’ll never get tired of those fringes 😍.



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