Send us your wildlife sightings

Recording wildlife is an easy way to get involved in wildlife conservation. It is a way of helping us to monitor wildlife across the county to gain an understanding of an animal’s distribution. Your sightings can help us identify areas which are especially important for wildlife and identify species in decline or under threat.

Each season we ask you to help Norfolk's wildlife by sending us your sightings of three iconic species. You don't have to be an expert – all you need to do is tell us when and where you spot them. Use the form to record online, or phone or email us using the details below.

Our current total of wildlife records submitted for this survey are


177
Broad-bodied chaser

60
Hummingbird hawk-moth

773
Tree bumblebee

Log your wildlife sightings here...

Sighting locations so far...


Key

Broad-bodied chaser
Hummingbird hawk-moth
Tree bumblebee
This spring The Wildlife Trusts launched a new practical pack, Your Guide to Taking Action for Insects, encouraging people to do their bit in reversing decades of decline for the UK’s struggling bees, butterflies, moths, bugs and beetles. 
 
A recent report published by the campaign “Insect declines and why they matter” led by Professor David Goulson, concluded that 41% of insect species now faced extinction around the world, while population declines were widespread across other insect species.  

In response to this campaign, for our summer wildlife citizen science survey, we are calling for people to share their garden insect sightings of broad-bodied chaser dragonflies, tree bumblebees and hummingbird hawkmoths.   

Whether you are lucky enough to have them visit your garden, or you see them on your local patch, you can help us map sightings within our county so we can build a picture of where they are found and identify areas which are especially important for wildlife and identify species in decline or under threat.
Broad-bodied chaser
The broad-bodied chaser is a common dragonfly that can be seen in summer around ponds and lakes a...
Hummingbird hawk-moth
The hummingbird hawk-moth is a species of Sphingidae. Its long proboscis and its hovering behavio...
Tree bumblebee
The tree bumblebee first arrived in the UK in 2001 probably from mainland Europe and it has quick...
Recording wildlife is an easy way to get involved in wildlife conservation. It is a way of helping us to monitor wildlife across the county to gain an understanding of an animal’s distribution. Your sightings can help us identify areas which are especially important for wildlife and identify species in decline or under threat.
 

Broad-bodied chaser

Britain’s dragonfly species are being threatened due to habitat destruction and the effects of climate change. Data collected by the British Dragonfly Society show that 36% of UK dragonfly species are in decline. Garden ponds can be a real haven for dragonflies and damselflies: in fact at least 17 species of dragonfly in the UK are known to have bred in garden ponds.  

How to spot a broad-bodied chaser:  
 
This dragonfly can be seen flying from April through to the end of September, and is known to visit garden ponds. It is a rather fat dragonfly, hence the name broad-bodied chaser. The males are blue in colour with yellow spots down the side, and the females and immature males are a golden-brown.
 

Hummingbird hawk-moth

According to Butterfly Conservation, many individual species of moth have declined dramatically in recent decades and more than 60 became extinct in the twentieth century. 

One species that anecdotally seems to be increasing in Norfolk is the hummingbird hawkmoth. This day-flying moth occurs throughout the year in southern Europe where it is resident, but each year, in varying numbers, it migrates northwards with some being blown across the English Channel and arriving in Britain. It is most commonly seen along the south and south-west of the UK, but more and more sightings in Norfolk are occurring. 

Hummingbird hawk-moths like to feed on tubular flowers such as red valerian, viper’s bugloss and jasmine. It can be found in gardens, parks and other habitats where these flowers grow. 

How to spot a hummingbird hawkmoth:  
 
The hovering flight of this moth as it feeds on nectar from flowers resembles a hummingbird. In flight, the white-tipped black sides to the abdomen and the orange-brown colouring of the wings are apparent, along with a long proboscis which it uses to feed on nectar. The caterpillar, which feeds on lady’s bedstraw or hedge bedstraw, is green or brown with a broad, dark band along each side and a blue yellow-tipped horn.
 

Tree bumblebee

According to Professor David Goulson’s report, 23 bee and flower visiting wasp species have become extinct in the UK since 1850. And of course we know how important insects are in helping us with food production with approximately three quarters of the crop types grown by humans requiring pollination by insects. 

Our gardens are important for many different bee species and can provide a vital nectar source. One species of bee to be making good use of gardens is the tree bumblebee. It first arrived in the UK in 2001, probably from mainland Europe, and it has quickly colonised. It seems to particularly like gardens and woodlands and will often be seen nesting in bird boxes. This distinctive looking bee can be seen from March until July, being particularly abundant in early summer. 
 
How to spot a tree bumblebee:  
 
Tree bumblebees have distinctive markings that distinguish them from other bumblebees. They have a black head and a thorax that is reddish-brown to tawny. The abdomen is usually black with a white tail; occasionally the gingery thorax colour will spread to the abdomen but there is always a strip of black before the white tail. There can also be dark forms of tree bumblebees but they still have the white tail and are fluffier than similar coloured bumblebees. Unlike other bumblebees, tree bumblebees can have a bald patch in the gingery hair of the thorax.  

Broad-bodied chaser

  1. This dragonfly loves a new pond, and may be one of the first species to colonise one.  

  2. The broad-bodied chaser is a creature of habit and will regularly return to the same perch after swift flights out across the water looking for insects.  

  3. Mating occurs on the wing, often taking less than a minute, after which the female will find a suitable spot to lay her eggs; she hovers over the water, dipping the tip of her abdomen in and dropping her eggs on to vegetation below the surface.  

  4. The larvae of broad-bodied chasers live in water and can take 1 to 3 years to develop into the adult dragonfly.  

  5. The larvae have been known to survive in the mud at the bottom of a pond, even when the pond dries up. 

Hummingbird hawk-moth

  1. This beautiful day-flying moth is reputed to be a messenger of good tidings. A small swarm of hummingbird hawkmoths was reported flying over the English Channel heading to England from France – the day they were seen was D-day, 1944!  
  2. The hummingbird hawk-moth is the only 'hummingbird' in Europe: real hummingbirds are found in the Americas.  
  3. This moth can lay up to 200 eggs.  
  4. An adult hummingbird hawkmoth lives for about 7 months.  
  5. They can fly at speeds up to 12mph which makes them one of the fastest insects in the world. 

Tree bumblebee

  1. Tree bumblebees show a preference for wide-open flowers, such as daisy, rather than narrow tube-like flowers.  
  2. Male tree bumblebees hatch in late spring and early summer, they are stingless, and their role is to mate with the new queens.  
  3. As the name might imply this bee likes to nest high, preferably in trees. It particularly likes to take up residents in bird boxes.  
  4. In late spring you may see the bee swarming at the entrance of a nest, this is totally normal behaviour and is known as ‘nest surveillance’. Basically, it is the male bees waiting for the new queens to come out.  
  5. Tree bumblebees are new to the UK only arriving in 2001, but they do not seem to be having a negative impact to our native bees.  In fact the tree bumblebee is a gardeners friend as it particularly likes to pollinate soft fruits such as raspberries and blackberries.  

Download the reports on our previous surveys

   Brown-hare,-barn-owl-and-common-frog-survey-April,-May-and-June-2015 Download   
   Hedgehog,-House-Martin-and-Red-Admiral-Survey-August-2015 Download   
   Water-vole,-grass-snake-and-Himalayan-balsam-survey-July-2015 Download   
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Have you seen any other wildlife recently? We would love to hear about it... Notify us now

How to take part in this wildlife survey...

Online


The quickest way to take part is by clicking on the submit button below. You will then be asked: what you saw, when you saw it, where you saw it and who you are.

By phone


Phone Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Information Service on 01603 598333. Don’t forget you will need to tell us: what you saw, when you saw it, where you saw it and who you are.

By e-mail


Send us an email to wild@norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk. Don’t forget you will need to tell us: what you saw, when you saw it, where you saw it and who you are.

Take part today...