Wednesday 14th June 2023 - We Visit Horsey Mere
In the past, the weeks of late spring and early summer have seemed to slip by, without us doing or seeing anything of interest, outside of the village. This year we have decided to visit a few places, before the schools break up and the roads get congested bringing throngs of people to the area. Well, that’s the plan but we wait and see how things pan out. This week we got off to a good start with a visit to Horsey but not as some may suppose, to see the seals.
Yesterday morning we set off, relatively early, arriving at the National Trust car park near the Horsey Wind Pump, just before nine. Only two other vehicles in the car park, indicating we would be able to walk along part of the path, skirting the mere in peace and quiet. We wanted to see the Swallowtail butterflies but despite there being plenty of the milk parsley plant, which they favour for laying their eggs, not one butterfly was flying about. However, there was plenty of bird song and activity as well as insects on the wing. We covered a fair distance but mindful of the time for the first sailing of the MV Lady Ann’s Wildlife trips of the day, we made sure we retraced our steps in time to reach the mooring in time to ensure a seat on the boat (in full season I would recommend booking via their Facebook page).
Phil and his dog Archie where there to greet us, plus six other passengers, and after a quick safety talk, Phil welcomed us on board. Under Phil’s expert guidance and amazing eye for spotting wildlife, we saw so much during the hours cruise. I won’t name everything but the highlights were, a bittern, marsh harriers, sedge warblers, a lapwing, reed buntings, hawkers, a cuckoo and, along a dyke, swallowtail butterflies. Phil has lived in the area all his life and as well has having an in-depth knowledge of the wildlife he also imparted information about the history of The Broads and in particular why Horsey Mere is different to others. I should just add, this was not our first wildlife tour on Horsey Mere. Some years ago, along with Barney, we went out with Ross, another very knowledgeable wildlife enthusiast, and at that time there were swallows nesting on the Lady Anne.
Having visited before, I didn’t take too many photos. I am including just one today, looking across the countryside from the footpath on the edge of the mere, towards a derelict windpump; such a tranquil scene.