On his first day on the job our new Assistant Warden, Ben Lewis, spotted 4 willow emerald damselflies on the site.
Now, this is amazing news! For those of us who know little or nothing about this sub-order of odonata, willow emeralds are very rare in this part of the world. Apparently they are mostly to be found in Jersey, though sightings are not unusual in Kent or Suffolk either.
However, from the mouths of the experts and the extensive internet trawl I have just undertaken, no willow emeralds have ever been reported in Norfolk, so this is a first! Editor's note - apologies this is incorrect. Apparently one was spotted at Strumpshaw Fen in 2009.
Typically, the very spot they were seen was then promptly closed for ditch maintenance work. However we have opened up a section of the closed trail to allow those enthusiasts amongst you to go out and search for this rare beauty. If you'd like to catch a glimpse of the willow emeralds (and I hear patience is the key) then please ask at our Reception Hide for directions.
For those of you who know diddly squat about these green insects, let me give you some basics:
And a couple of snippets of info which I'm sure everyone knows but I thought were pretty good!
So there you have it, a new species for Norfolk and found right here at Strumpshaw Fen. What else would you expect from such a diverse habitat as this?!