Monday 20 June 2022

Suffolk Weekender 18th-19th June 2022

My Saturday plan involved leading a group along the Suffolk coast and taking in the variety of habitats on offer ending with fish and chips and some churring Nightjars to round up the day. However the scorching 32c of Friday was replaced by 17c of Saturday and just for once the weather forecast was correct and the by lunchtime it was raining and did so on and off for the rest of the day culminating in a monster thunderstorm from 10pm at about the time we would have been waiting for the Nightjar performance and resulting in the emergency evacuation of the big event being held on Lowestoft beach at the time!

It is probably the only trip I ever cancel due to weather and although disappointing, it was the right thing to do.  I was still in Suffolk for the weekend as I had arranged to meet Antony who would be helping me for the day .

It was glorious and sunny when I left home on the Saturday morning but by the time I was pulling into Blaxhall Common near Snape it was grey and overcast and a cool breeze was picking up.  Woodlarks were singing and the conditions actually facilitated probably my best views over of my actual target species here – the Silver Studded Blue.

I only saw three of each sex but they all ended up sitting with wings open fully to catch what litt;e grey warmth there was.

Silver Studded Blues

I ended up spending the afternoon in and out of the Wren’s garden in Lowestoft where I attempted to take some shots of the previous night’s moths that were waiting for nightfall.  The sporadic rain did not help but I had a good fun taking pics of those that interested me.  I think Antony actually had over 100 species!  There were a few I had not seen before (and no, I do not actually have a moth list) as well as some gaudy Elephant Hawk-moths and the magical Bufftip.

Bee Moth

Bee Moth

Bright-line Brown-Eye

Broken Barred Carpet

Buff Tip

Dusky Brocade

Carcina quercana 

Common Marbled Carpet 

Dark or Grey Dagger

Dark Arches

Elephant Hawk-moth

Elephant Hawk-moth

Endothenia marginana or gentianeana 

Figure of Eighty


Southern Wainscot

Freyer's Pug

Grey Pug

Heart and Club

Heart and Dart

July Highflyer

Large Yellow Underwing

Large Yellow Underwing

Lime Speck Pug

Marbled Brown


Peppered Moth

Eyed Hawkmoth

Red-necked Footman

Ringed China Mark

Ringed China Mark

Ringed China Mark

Shore Wainscot

Shore Wainscot


Udea olivalis 

Wax Moth

Yellow Barred Brindle

Yellow Legged Clearwing

Puss Moth cat

The amazing bag worm Dahlica triquetrella and his case with glued on bit of ant and other invert

Tinagma ocnerostomella - this tiny red-eyed mini micro was the first recorded on this part of the Suffolk coast - Antony was pleased

The garden meadow looks amazing and I unfortunately lack the light to replicate it at home.  There were a few expected Hoverflies with Eristalis tenax and pertinax, Xanthogramma pedissequum, Syritta pipiens and Helophilus pendulus.

If only all garden lawns looked like this

Eristalis tenax

Megachile centuncularis were attending the Knapweed and the first fresh Bombus vestalis of the year was with them along with Bombus terrestris and pascuorum.

Bombus vestalis 

Megachile centuncularis

Ground Beetle

Spotted Cranefly - Nephrotoma appendiculata 

Oedemera nobilis

Parent Bug

Caddis - Phryganea grandis seems likely

Variable Long-horn Beetle - Stenocorus meridianus 

Small Skipper

Sawfly larvae on elm?

A much bigger Sawfly larvae on elm

Azure and Large Red Damsels were around the pond but it was just too cool for a relaxing afternoon garden safari!

 Large Red Damsel

Mimulus guttatus


Sunday morning saw us escaping the rest of the family for a few hours for a jaunt up to Trimingham to see the Bee-eaters that have set up in a little quarry there.  It was a well run RSPB operation and it was good to see Mark Weston once again.   The birds were heard almost as soon as we got out of the car and before long we were watching what were probably six birds as they excavated their burrows in the sandy banks.  This was my first sighting of Bee-eater in the UK since Pat Hart found one at Rainham in May 2007 although I have heard two over there in the intervening years.

They were a little way off but it was just a pleasure to watch them eyeballing bees and tracking them around before deciding to dash off in pursuit and giving happy little communicative calls upon success.  There were occasional flights above the rim of the pit and a couple of them headed way off over the car park at one stage where only the pruuking could be heard I the blue.

Yes; blue sky but it was still cool and by the time we were back on the road south the cloud was bubbling up and rain was back I the air. Nevertheless a weekend salvaged from the clutches of the British weather.

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