Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Swallowtail at Hickling Broad

We've just returned from a weekend in Norfolk, where we visited Hickling Broad, a wonderful reserve run by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, and one of the few places to see Swallowtail butterflies.

Our first sighting was the briefest of encounters when one zipped across the path in front of me, and we assumed that was probably as good as it would get until we reached a warm sheltered boardwalk bordered with tall reeds and grasses and occasional patches of Yellow Flag Iris. Here we watched half a dozen swoop across the reed beds, disappearing for minutes before taking to the air again and virtually impossible to photograph. A passing warden recommended that we keep our eyes focussed on the Yellow Flag Iris a favourite nectar source of the butterfly and a potential resting spot.

And eventually, after a considerable number of obscured shots, I managed to get one reasonably clear view, phew!


  1. Oh joy! Beautiful photographs of stunning swallowtail(s)! So very pretty against the Yellow Flag Irises.

  2. Love the picture of the swallowtail in flight! A really unusual image.......

  3. Gosh Linda - beautiful photos :) I am green with envy! Top of my list of British species that I would love to see is the Swallowtail! They are such beautiful butterflies.

  4. A magnificent flutter and one I have never seen.

  5. Wow! Just look at that - brilliant ! :-)

  6. Hello Julie, they're a beautiful sight, we were so lucky to see them.

    Hello Phil, thank you, we would have been happy with the views alone, but its lovely to come away with a few nice pics too.

    Hello CB, thank you, we found these just after I spoke to you on the phone.

    Hello Caroline, thanks very much, I highly recommend a trip to Norfolk, there are so many interesting places to visit. That's our second trip to Hickling and on both occasions we've been lucky enough to see the Swallowtails. I'd happily recommend B&B's if you're ever thinking of taking a trip.

    Hello John, its a princely butterfly isnt it.

    Hello Warren, ta very much, we were so chuffed just to see them, and even nicer to come away with a few pics ;)


  7. Amazing photos and how wonderful to see swallowtails in England! I have only ever seen them abroad.

  8. Absolutely brilliant photos. I've never seen a swallowtail. Amazing.

  9. Superb images Linda.
    Shame that they are restricted to just that area they are an amazing species to watch.

    Check this link out for the Tuscan version.


  10. Brilliant. I've been to Norfolk a couple of times now but never when these fantastic butterflies have been on the wing. You lucky duck. Cracking images also with the Flags adding to the shots.

  11. Hello DW, yes they're a treat to see & I highly recommend Hickling Broad Nature Reserve, its the second time we've seen Swallowtail there on the two seperate occasions that we've visited.

    Hello Crystal, thanks, they're stunning to watch, quite a privilege.

    Hello Roy, I agree, well worth the six hour journey to Norwich from Leeds thanks to traffic disruptions. I'll check out the link, thanks for posting it.

    Hello Jonny, a lucky duck indeed! Its a smashing part of the country, & Hickling is a nice reserve.

    Best wishes all, Linda

  12. Beautiful pictures Linda, a joy to see


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