Every tree and hedge throbs with the song of migrant songbirds (photo blackcap by Ray Jones) 1/3
Over freshwater wetlands the first wave of dragonflies is to be seen (photo by Maurice Furnell) 2/3
Common terns, Sandwich terns and little terns reach frenzied levels of activity (photo by Ray Jones) 3/3

Wildlife in May

May is the most exuberant month in Norfolk’s wildlife year. Living things are loud, and bright, and everywhere. Migrant songbirds are pouring in from the south and every tree and hedge throbs with their song: scratchy whitethroats in hedges, fruity blackcaps in woods, twittering swallows above marshes and in a few places the impossibly varied and rich song of the nightingale.

Hawthorn, traditionally known as may, used to flower this month but, with generally warmer winters, its flowers are now often coming to an end by the start of the month. As hawthorn’s flowers fade its equally beautiful sharp green leaves begin to unfurl. In the shade of shrubs and under blankets of bracken new-born roe and red deer are hiding now. Over freshwater wetlands the first wave of dragonflies is to be seen later in the month: Norfolk hawker, hairy dragonfly, four-spotted chaser, variable damselfly and azure damselfly. Meanwhile over saltmarshes the seesaw song of the redshank is constantly to be heard. Nearby, on coastal islands and spits, colonies of black-headed gulls, common terns, Sandwich terns and little terns are reaching frenzied levels of activity.

By the end of the month the swifts are again screaming over our heads and the full riot of early summer is underway.

Upcoming events

Nature and Norfolk Landscapes CANCELLED, Cley and Salthouse Marshes
Wed 01 Apr 2020 - Tue 14 Apr 2020
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Really Wild Easter CANCELLED, Cley and Salthouse Marshes
Thu 02 Apr 2020 - Sun 19 Apr 2020
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Fascinating Fossils CANCELLED, West Runton Beach Café
Wed 08 Apr 2020
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Capturing Cley CANCELLED, Cley and Salthouse Marshes
Wed 08 Apr 2020
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Rockpool Rummaging at West Runton CANCELLED, West Runton Beach
Wed 08 Apr 2020
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The Art of Birds CANCELLED, Alec Bussey Scout Centre
Wed 08 Apr 2020
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Adrian Bell, farmer, writer and rural champion CANCELLED, Watton Christian Community Centre
Wed 08 Apr 2020
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