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Strumpshaw

Strumpshaw Fen is a RSPB nature reserve on the Norfolk Broads. You can walk through a variety of wetland habitats, meadows, woodland and reed beds. There is much wild life to be seen and on a recent visit I was delighted to get good shots of the Swallowtail butterfly.

The Swallowtail butterfly is one of the rarest and most magnificent of the British butterflies. It can now be found only on the Norfolk Broads. It feeds almost exclusively on milk parsley. When new materials (rather than reeds) were found for roofing houses after the first world war, reed beds were no longer maintained and the milk parsley was swamped by other sorts of vegetation. Without milk parsley the Swallowtail could not survive. It wasn't until the reed beds were managed again that the milk parsley and the Swallowtail started to re-appear.

Swallowtail (Papilio macbaon)
Swallowtail (Papilio macbaon)


The Eyed Hawk moth (Smerinthus ocellata) is found mostly in the southern half of the UK. It can be seen between May and September in woodlands and gardens. The adult does not feed. If disturbed the moth will fold back its forewings to reveal a pair of hind wings which are decorated with bright blue and black eyes on a pinkish background.

Eyed Hawk Moth (Smerinthus ocellata)


The Brimstone butterfly can be found mainly in southern and central England where Buckthorn grows. It will feed on other nectar flowers in the summer. It is one of our longest living species of butterfly and can be found in most months of the year. They fly during the heat of the day then settle upside down beneath the leaves of shrubs.

Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)


The Norfolk Hawker is a large brown flying hawker found mainly in ditches on growing marshes and fens in the Broads. It relies on clear water and stable water levels. It is a protected species.



The Broad-bodied Chaser is a medium sized dragonfly seen in early summer in southern Britain. The males are aggressively territorial perching on vegetation between knee and waist height. Their flight is fast and often difficult to follow. They can be found at ponds and small lakes and will quickly colonize new ponds.

Broad-Bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)
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