Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

Intermediate with flexible finish times. Up to 5 miles walking per day

Group Size:

Eight plus leaders

Banded Demoiselle Emerald Damselfly Ringlet Black Darter White Admiral Dark Green Fritillary

Norfolk - Butterflies & Dragonflies

Date: 5th - 8th July 2022 (SPACES)
Leaders: Ashley Saunders



The tour meets at the Blue Boar Inn, Great Ryburgh at 19.00 for a welcome drink with your guide and a chat about the wildlife watching ahead.
In West Norfolk we will head to Roydon Common NR to look for the very scarce Black Darter dragonfly. The acid pools where it breeds are also home to Emerald and Large Red Damselflies while Keeled Skimmer is also likely. Wood Lark, Tree Pipit and Stonechat share the same habitat. Moving on to Titchwell reserve, the Fen Trail offers the chance to study a range of species including Azure and Common Blue Damselfly and Migrant and Southern Hawker and Ruddy and Common Darter. Birds on the reserve could include a range of migrant waders such as Spotted Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green and Wood Sandpipers as well as Little Gull, Bearded Tit, Marsh Harrier, Pied Avocet and Eurasian Spoonbill. We have even seen Lesser Yellowlegs and Buff-breasted Sandpiper on this tour in the past! Mediterranean Gulls are also now breeding on the reserve in large numbers and we should see them in a variety of plumages. A cross-country route home may give us the chance to add Banded Demoiselle, which is easily seen along the River Wensum.
A special treat this morning involves a visit to a local nature reserve where Small Red Damselfly breeds, the only place in East Anglia where it is found. In fact the nearest colony to Norfolk is in the New Forest Hampshire! The site is excellent for Orchids and with a bit of searching Marsh Fragrant, Common Spotted and Marsh Helleborine might be found. The site is very delicate, and we must exercise the utmost care to observe this rare animal without damaging its habitat and Adrian will take in one or two people at a time to the area where the damselfly breeds. Following on from the damselfly theme, we visit another location where we have the chance to study the two very similar Emeralds at close quarters. Both Emerald and Scarce Emerald Damselfly may be seen together - but they are not easy to separate! This is where the expertise of your tour leaders really comes in handy! Lakenheath Fen is a must visit location where very large numbers of odonata may be observed. This includes two rare species, the Variable Damselfly and Scarce Chaser which could both still be flying. Both Red-eyed and Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Emperor, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker and Black-tailed Skimmer can also be expected. Birding can be good here too, with excellent chnaces for Bittern, Cuckoo, Hobby and Kingfisher. 
This morning we visit an ancient woodland in mid-Norfolk to look for one of its most recent colonists, the regal Purple Emperor butterfly. It can be found here alongside its woodland courtiers, the Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral. Purple Hairstreak is also quite easy to find given fair weather, and we should enjoy good views with the aid of a telescope.  Heading back towards the coast we spend some time exploring the heaths, where a colony of Silver-studded Blues should be seen and Grayling can be common. Dartford Warbler is a good bet here, and in some years Common Crossbill and Woodlark can be seen. A crop of Viper’s Bugloss around the car park is particularly attractive to the two species of ‘little skipper’ and we will hopefully get the chance to study them closely. Holkham Meals is a wonderful butterfly site. Here we should find, amongst the myriad of common species, Purple & maybe White-letter Hairstreak, Holly Blue, White Admiral, Dark Green and perhaps even Silver-washed Fritillary. The dunes hold Grayling and Brown Argus too, and Eurasian Spoonbills can often be seen on the marshes. In the event of rain we will spend our time birding, mainly visiting Cley which can be superb for waders at this time. A range of shorebirds and terns can be expected, along with Bearded Tit, Pied Avocet and Marsh Harrier. It must be stressed that a wet tour will involve some of the sites from the itinerary being dropped in favour of a more birding related itinerary.


Additional Information


The Blue Boar Inn and The Dower House B&B in Great Ryburgh with en suite rooms throughout.
Three nights en suite accommodation on a bed, breakfast and evening meal basis, packed lunches on days two - four, all ground transport in Norfolk, services of leaders, hot drinks in the field and any reserve entrance fees.

Travel to/ from Norfolk, travel insurance, drinks and items of a purely personal nature.

King’s Lynn


Tour Reports


2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2015   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021




"The long list of birds and bugs were particularly enjoyable despite the inclement weather. Both of the guides were excellent" R W, Devon
 "I had a great weekend. Ashley and Adrian went out of their way to make the trip so enjoyable and despite the weather, we saw so much " M D, Essex 
"This was an excellent trip and even the rain didn't spoil it.  The food was great, the accommodation excellent and the guides very helpful and knowledgeable. All in all very enjoyable " S & J R, Cornwall
" I enjoyed the holiday very much, every minute in fact - the guides were very helpful, made sure everyone had good views and certainly knew their stuff. The accommodation and meals were of a much higher standard than expected which made the tour great value for money too " C R, Cornwall
"As usual Ashley was excellent and every aspect of the tour was most enjoyable" M D, Essex
"Oriole are just right for me, friendly, good company, and not too intensive" J F, Watford
" Yet another enjoyable and successful trip" J D,  Kent


" A really enjoyable tour in every way and I would definitely participate on another of your holidays and recommend others do so too " J R, Dorset
" We were very fortunate to have such kowledgeable and hard working guides who put so much effort into finding everything for us. The group size was just right and I would have no hesitation in going back to Norfolk with you as I thoroughly enjoyed everything about my first visit there. The hotel was very comfortable and the staff welcoming and I have very fond memories of my holiday " P E, Dorset
"Just to say thank you for taking Liz and myself about Norfolk in July.Very interesting and the one species I wanted Scarce Emerald Damselfly we saw a number of. The accommodation was excellent and we were well looked after, even staying an extra day. It is good that you have somewhere like this!"  C & E.E. Northants
" I had a fantastic time and a really good holiday. I loved the small group and friendly atmosphere and Ashley and Adrian were excellent guides" S P Cambridgeshire