Phew, what a day! Headed out to the Broads to try and find some Swallowtail butterflies, we found several on the wing, but they didn’t settle, and I was surprised to find a lack of flowers. We decided to go back to Strumpshaw for the afternoon.

The place was alive with Swallowtails!

We must have seen at least 10 butterflies in total, all over the reserve. One section of path was especially good, as it was sheltered from the wind and in the bright sunshine. The light was a bit harsh and difficult to handle, but gave a nice quick shutter speed to capture these fast moving animals.

Some of these butterflies were more relaxed, resting on nettles, giving some great photo opportunities. Occasionally these would take to the air, with a beautiful gliding flight up and down the path, very different to the quick flickering fluttering flight when they feed. They’d then settle again and pose nicely.

This shot below is probably my favourite from the day…

They hardly ever seem to rest with their wings raised, so I was pleased to get this, and the back-lighting is nice too!

Finally to top off an already great day, we continued walking round the reserve, and saw that the entire gull colony was in the air and shouting about something. Ducks were panicking and zooming over us, circling round the fen. An otter perhaps? Nope – a large long winged raptor slowly flying towards us, being mobbed by angry gulls… We couldn’t believe our eyes – it was an Osprey!!!

The first time I’ve ever seen one, and absolutely amazing! Didn’t get any photos of course as I still had the macro lens on from photographing the butterflies, and the big lens was in the car. Another photographer did get some great shots of it though, which he kindly showed us.

So a brilliant day, with very friendly people and photographers, and fantastic wildlife!