Hickling Dragons

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Marsh harrier over a hot and hazy Hickling Broad

May 26th 2017.  Today I decided to keep local and pay my first visit of the year to Hickling Broad.  For any visitor to Norfolk ,or if you are local, this is a lovely walk at this time of the year.  I use the Weavers Way footpath on the south side of the Broad.  Starting at Decoy Road and head east to Rush Hills, for a longer walk you can carry on to the River Thurne.

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Female broad bodied chaser

There is lots of different wildlife to see along here in late spring especially if you go fairly early in the morning.  The reed beds are alive with the song of reed and sedge warblers, reed buntings and the ping of bearded tits.  Overhead magnificent marsh harriers hunt and today I was lucky to see common crane and a dashing hobby.

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Male hairy dragonfly

I spent most of my visit watching and photographing dragon and damselflies.  There were lots of four spot chasers and several broad bodied chasers.  I noticed a few hairy dragonflies, a species not that common,  this is the earliest and smallest of the hawkers to emerge, and they rarely settle, the image above is the only shot I managed.

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Blue tail damsels

There were lots of damselflies in certain areas, azure, blue tail and large red.  Its great to get images of these delicate creatures, when enlarged the detail is stunning.

I had hoped to see my first swallowtail butterfly of the year but it was not to be despite the clear blue skies and hot temperatures.

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Sedge warbler at Hickling
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