In reedbeds through Broadland and along the coast the sonorous boom of the bittern may now be heard (photo by Brian Macfarlane) 1/3
In a few grassland sites rare dingy and grizzled skippers are on the wing (photo by Andrew Ramsey) 2/3
It used to be the case that bluebells flowered at the start of May (photo by Matthew Tebbutt) 3/3

Wildlife in April

Spring continues to gain momentum in April. In reedbeds through Broadland and along the coast the sonorous boom of the bittern may now be heard and overhead marsh harriers are yelping and tumbling in courtship.

By the end of the month oak flowers are out. Perhaps the first leaves are unfurling too, almost always before ash leaves, belying the old adage. Coastal footpaths are heady with the scent of alexanders, whose flowers are visited by drone flies and other species of hoverfly. On balmy days the air may be thick with dangly-legged St Mark’s flies. In a few grassland sites rare dingy and grizzled skippers are on the wing, while exquisite green hairstreaks are more widespread and are frequently seen around the coconut-scented flowers of European gorse.

It used to be the case that bluebells flowered at the start of May but after a mild winter they, and other ancient woodland wildflowers including wood anemone and wood sorrel, have sometimes almost finished flowering by the end of April. The sight of a male orange-tip over bluebells, the first of our butterflies to emerge from pupae in spring, is a sure sign that spring has sprung.

Upcoming events

Breckland's nocturnal wildlife CANCELLED, East Wretham Heath
Sat 30 May 2020
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