Our last day in Norfolk. We were heading home in fact, but wanting to make the most of our opportunity, had decided to stop en route at Oxburgh Hall. Not that it was really on our homeward route, but in retrospect, it was well worth a bit of a diversion.
There’s was lots to see. So much so that we didn’t get around to a walk around the extensive woods in the grounds.
The house was interesting, both inside and out.
You can possibly tell that it was the moat, and the views of the house across the moat which captivated me.
I think the kids might pick their visit to the tight little priest hole as their highlight of the day. I deferred that pleasure for another visit – I had an unpleasant image of myself stoppering the entrance like Winnie the Pooh stuck in Rabbit’s hole with washing dangling from his legs.
But, as I say, it was definitely the moat for me. It had a huge cast of attendant dragonflies and damselflies. Some of the dragonflies were of quite a size – I like to think that they were Emperor’s, but I’m only speculating. Other dragonflies were mating in flight, quite a curious thing to see. I took lots of photos, none of them even remotely successful. The damselflies were more accommodating, often settling on a lily pad…
These are red-eyed damselflies, which are apparently very fond of lily pads, and who don’t venture as far north as Silverdale: always nice to spot something not found on our home-patch.
The moat is fed by water diverted from the River Gadder and very clean and clear looking it is. And abundantly full of fish. I wondered whether it had been stocked.
There seemed to be at least two sorts of fish swimming about. Smaller stripy ones swimming nearer the bottom of the moat…
…not sure what these are. Perch are quite heavily striped, but they aren’t really small. The larger fish however…
…with their red fins, I think are probably Roach.
Meanwhile this bundle of fluff looks drab enough to be a young Coot, except that the colour on its beak makes me suspect that it might actually be a Moorhen.
The formal gardens were resplendent, not just with flowers, but also with butterflies and moths. I would have been flummoxed by this little, colourful moth – it isn’t in my field guide, but fortuitously I discovered that it is a Mint Moth when a picture was posted over at Quercus Community
We did manage a little wander down to a pleasant flower-filled meadow where there were many more butterflies and dragonflies. I think that these are both Common Darters, although I’m not at all confident with dragonflies.
And I’m guessing, thanks to an informative comment in a previous post, that this…
….is a Turkey Oak acorn.
I watched a little drama unfold whilst I was photographing the dragonflies. A ladybird ran along the top bar of the fence, straight into the clutches of one of the Darters…
Both are predators, but I feared for the ladybird in a quarrel. However, the dragonfly seemed quite perturbed by the ladybird, and after a cursory examination allowed it to continue on its way.