Tuesday 3 May 2022

Lynford Arboretum - 30th April - 2nd May 2022

I got home quite late on Friday night after my unexpected week guiding on Lesvos and first thing the next morning we were on our way to the Brecks to stay with the Wrens in a cottage at Lynford Arboretum.  It was a swift and untroubled journey and we were there before 10am much to the surprise and delight of Nathan and Aidan who did not know we were coming.

Garden view

What followed was just over two days of chilling in the Norfolk countryside. We never even left the environs of the Arboretum. The heathland surrounding the ‘tree park’ was full of spring song of what felt like a bygone era with parachuting Tree Pipits and cascading Willow Warblers practically in the garden while Wood and Skylarks serenaded high above.

Tree Pipit

Tree Pipit

Willow Warbler

Willow Warbler


Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings and Stonechats were in the short pines and blazing yellow Gorse and Garden Warblers out sung the other species from the stands of Birch and heavily scented Bird Cherry with its weighty candelabras of white blooms.

Reed Bunting



Yellowhammer - with Reed Bunting making my 6th and 7th bunting species this week

Garden Warbler and friends
Bird Cherry
Bird Cherry

Marsh Tits sneezed at us from the woodland edge and at least nine Firecrests held territory in the pines with Goldcrests, Coal Tits, Treecreepers and Nuthatches. Pied Wagtails collected nest material from the lawn and Grey Wagtails, Water Rails and breeding Great Crested Grebes were encountered by the lakes.


Marsh Tit

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Firecrest and friends

As dusk fell there were Woodcock roding across the clearing in jerky flight and Tawny Owls started up for the night. Muntjac watched from the undergrowth and a young Roe Deer never saw me standing there as it fed just beyond the garden fence.

Roe Deer


Buzzards circled above and on Sunday even saw off a passing high Honey Buzzard that drifted north before engaging in some celebratory display diving.

Common Buzzard

Honey Buzzard

And above all there was very little extraneous human sound despite the hordes of people visiting the Arboretum just a few hundred yards away from our secluded spot.

It goes without saying that Antony was engaging in some serious mothing and I believe he was approaching the hundred species by the end of Bank Holiday Monday.  I tried to keep up and got pics of many of the beautiful species seen so I apologise now for the full on mothy image fest that is to follow.

Brindled Beauty

Pale Tussock

Coxcomb Prominent

Great Prominent

Great Prominent

Pebble Prominent

Pale Prominent

Swallow Prominent

Lesser Swallow Prominent

Chocolate Tip

Early Grey

Flame Shoulder

Frosted Green

Frosted Green

Grey Shoulder Knot

Hebrew Character

Lunar Marbled Brown

Nut Tree Tussock

Pale Pinion

Ruby Tiger

Shuttle Shaped Dart

White Ermine

Knot Grass


Oak Nycteoline

Pine Beauty

Pine Beauty

Pine Beauty

Powdered Quaker

Red Chestnut


Five Prominents

Pine Hawkmoth

Purple Thorn

Purple Thorn

Barred Hook-tip

Pebble Hook-tip

Scalloped Hook-tip


Least Black Arches

Many Plumed Moth

Orange Footman

Brindled Pug

Foxglove Pug

Oak Tree Pug

 Ochreous Pug

Clay Triple Lines

Latticed Heath

Maidens Blush

Tawny Barred Angle

Tawny Barred Angle

Yellow Barred Brindle

Yellow Barred Brindle

Water Carpet

Spruce Carpet

Spruce Carpet

Spruce Carpet

Silver Ground Carpet

Scorched Carpet

Red Twinspot Carpet

Red Twinspot Carpet

Red Green Carpet

Red Green Carpet

Red Green Carpet

Flame Carpet

Dark Barred Twinspot Carpet

Grey Pine Carpet

Ancylis unculana - the 1st in West Norfolk since 18 something or other I believe - pic by Antony Wren

Athes smeathmanniana

Cydia ulicetana

Dyseriocrania subpurpurella 

Elachrista apicipunctella 

Esperia sulphuralla 

Grapholita internana - I may have called this one 'ave a banana

Pammene argyrana - expertly found by keen eyed Nathan

Syndemis musculana

Adela reaumurella 

On top of all these I can also remember seeing Common Wave, Common Plume, Spectacle and Nettle Tap.

Our walks saw us scouring Birch, Alder, Hawthorn and Oak for active moth larvae activity and I even discovered a new species for Antony.

Coleophora serratella

Coleophora serratella

Eriocrania sangii 

Eriocrania semipurpurella 

Mottled Umber

Winter Moth

There was a wealth of other insect life too with a good range of Butterflies, Bees and Beetles along with a few Spiders, Bugs and some quality Flies in all shapes and sizes including two new to me.  As usual I have done my best with the identification but will welcome any input or corrections.

Andrena nitida

Andrena bimaculata ?

Andrena bimaculata ?

Not sure

Not sure - as above

Bombus pascuorum

Nomada flava

Osmia bicolor 

Osmia bicolor - there were plenty of these across the heath

Osmia bicornis

Osmia bicornis

24-spot Ladybird

Cream Spot Ladybird

Harlequin Ladybird

Harlequin Ladybird

Orange Ladybird

spent Pine Ladybird eggs
Pine Ladybird eggs

Pine Ladybird

2-spot Ladybird - not one 7-spot was seen

Acorn Weevil

Cytilus sericeus I believe

Cytilus sericeus

Tortoise Beetle - unsure of species yet

Tortoise Beetle

Weevil and Alderfly

Oiceoptoma thoracicum 

Oiceoptoma thoracicum - it was trying to get into a dog poo bag!

Silpha atrata - another carrion beetle 

Brassica Bug

Parent Bug

Plant Bug sp




A rubbish Dingy Skipper

Green Hairstreak

Green Hairstreak

female Orange Tip - there were countless males on the wing

Small Copper

Small Heath - add in Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and three Whites and it was a reasonable selection

Large Red Damselfly 

Large Red Damselfly  - there were lots hunting around the Gorse

Arienella sp

Arienella sp - they were catching the many Bibios

Rilaena triangularis - Very War of the Worlds 

Nuctenea umbratica

Pardosa monticola

Philodromus cf cespitum



Conops vesicularis

Conops vesicularis - a monster Conopid - and rare too

Tipula varipennis 

Tipula vernalis

Bombylius major

Bombylius major


Bibio marci - St Mark's Fly

Bibio marci - St Mark's Fly

Cynomya mortuorum 

Cynomya mortuorum 

Cynomya mortuorum  - The scientific name means 'Dog-fly of the dead'!'

Eudasyphora cyanella 

Eudasyphora cyanella 

Gonia divisa 

Gonia divisa 

Gymnocheta viridis - getting a bit worn

Hybomitra bimaculata - a medium sized Horsefly with hairy legs

Hybomitra bimaculata

Sarcophaga sp

Sarcophaga sp

A small Muscid. Phil suggests Hebecnema sp

Eristalis arbustorum

Platycheirus albimanus

Platycheirus peltatus agg

Sphaerophoria scripta

Sphaerophoria sp female

Syrphus ribesii - I think a small dark one

Syrphus ribesii - I think a small dark one

Syrphus ribesii

Xanthogramma pedissequum

Xanthogramma pedissequum

Xanthogramma pedissequum -
Helophilus pendulus, Episyrphus balteatus, Dasysyrphus albostriatus, Eristalis tenax and pertinax and Epistrophe eligans were also seen

The Gorse was ludicrously bright and both  Antony and I experienced a strange optical affect from staring into it for other wildlife for any length of time as the yellow intensified and the greens within the bushes actually faded and became glaucous grey in colour.  If you turned around and looked further away, then the greens of the other trees were similarly muted and took a few minutes to gradually take on their normal hues.


Broom with unusual flowers


Bluebells glimmered under the pines and Cowslips bobbed in the meadows and we even found Water Avens and Snakes Head Fritillaries in the damp areas.




Garlic Mustard

Hemlock I believe


Ladies Smock

Snakes Head Fritillaries  and Water Avens 

Water Avens 

Monday morning came and it was time to pack up but instead of heading off to explore somewhere else, we came straight home. It sounds odd but there was something oddly cathartic about going somewhere and then not exploring from the new, weekend basecamp. The stay was short but perfect. A break with friends with no pressure to do anything except eat, drink, be merry and discover the wildlife lurking quite literally on the doorstep.

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