Friday 18 November 2016

The Ovington Ramblers: NWT Thorpe Marshes

The Ovington Ramblers continue their odyssey to NWT reserves in our 90th year 

A view across the water at NWT Thorpe Marshes
Our walk today took us to one of NET's newest reserves - Thorpe Marshes on the outskirts of Norwich. We couldn't believe how close it was to the city! It was almost surrounded by transport links with the train track to the North, the River Yare to the West and South and the Southern Bypass with its constant hum of traffic only a short distance away to the South and East. In spite of this, we were enthralled by a splendid wild life haven and this was on a wet and miserable day! St Andrew 's Broad at the centre of the reserve was larger than anticipated. Many birds were enjoying it including swans, black headed gulls,ducks, a coot and a lone cormorant. When we were observing the water we heard the song of a Cetti's warbler and also caught a glimpse of it in the scrub willows - difficult to understand how such a tiny bird can sing so loudly!

The trees today were really colourful clothed in shades of copper and gold. Some of the ash trees had lost all their leaves while other trees were quite green. We noticed several buddleia  trees leading down to the reserve- expect they entice many butterflies when in flower.The most interesting tree was an ash with a forked trunk. A large branch from one fork was growing into the side of the other fork forming a bridge across the centre and under this were clustered a great many snails. Presumably they'd taken up residence for the winter. As this was at least a metre above the ground we just wondered how word had spread about their desirable winter quarters? Other productive trees we saw were guelder roses bejewelled with berries as were hawthorn and ivy all providing food for the birds in the coming months.

Interpretation board at Thorpe Marshes

We saw the remains of several flowering plants including Eupatorium, great willow-herb, meadow sweet, water mint and on the drier path to the east of the reserve we noted ox-eye daisies and white dead-nettle in full bloom.


In spite of the inclement weather we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this reserve. We found the information boards to be a great asset and we're looking forward to a return visit in the future. 


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