Photo Gallery: Norwich photographer Jonathan Lewis captures Norfolk’s summer wildlife

Kestrel. Pic by Jonathan Lewis, Norfolk Wildlife Photography

Kestrel. Pic by Jonathan Lewis, Norfolk Wildlife Photography - Credit: Jonathan Lewis

Every month, we are following in the footsteps of local wildlife photographer Jonathan Lewis. Here is his perspective of what was happening in wild Norfolk during July.

Pic by Jonathan Lewis, Norfolk Wildlife Photography

Pic by Jonathan Lewis, Norfolk Wildlife Photography - Credit: Jonathan Lewis

We're now at the peak of summer, days are long and thankfully warm.

Blue tits exchanging food. Pic by Jonathan Lewis, Norfolk Wildlife Photography

Blue tits exchanging food. Pic by Jonathan Lewis, Norfolk Wildlife Photography - Credit: Jonathan Lewis

Most importantly for me, wildlife is flourishing all around us.

Adult kestrel dropping off food. Pic by Jonathan Lewis, Norfolk Wildlife Photography

Adult kestrel dropping off food. Pic by Jonathan Lewis, Norfolk Wildlife Photography - Credit: Jonathan Lewis

Over the last month I've been observing a family of kestrels being raised.

Kestrel's first flight. Pic by Jonathan Lewis, Norfolk Wildlife Photography

Kestrel's first flight. Pic by Jonathan Lewis, Norfolk Wildlife Photography - Credit: Jonathan Lewis

The two parents are working together to provide enough food for the three new hungry mouths which constantly demand top ups.

Pic by Jonathan Lewis, Norfolk Wildlife Photography

Pic by Jonathan Lewis, Norfolk Wildlife Photography - Credit: Jonathan Lewis


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Each youngster requires around four voles per day and the parents need six to get by, so between the two of them they need to catch a whopping 24 voles each day just to keep up!

It has been great to see the chicks grow from tiny white fluff balls into juveniles and I was lucky enough to be at the nesting site on the day they took their first tentative flights.

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The young have a very distinctive and loud begging call so take a listen on the internet (there's a website called www.xeno-canto.org which you can find bird calls on) and next time you go for a walk listen out for the young, they will lead you right to them.

Of course, it's not just the kestrels have been busy raising young.

Many species, such as these blue tit parents are concentrating on getting enough grub (literally, in their case!) to their young.

In many species, this frantic behaviour is aimed at preparing the young to be ready and independent for their first winter.

By the time the young are ready to go independent the parents will often be exhausted and will then have to play catch up on stocking up their reserves for the colder months ahead.

The warm weather is also perfect for the insects in Norfolk. One group I've been particular interested in this year is the moths.

Because of the cold spring, this group had a very slow and delayed start to but are now out and about in great numbers.

While there are just 59 species of butterfly in the UK, there are 2,500 species of moth so this often overlooked group is well worth checking out.

A far cry from the dull brown ones often seen fluttering around your window, they can be found in a wide range of colours and sizes, ranging from large bright pink hawk moths all the way down to tiny golden micro moths.

You can set up a simple moth trap to view some of these beautiful insects by hanging out a white sheet and shining a torch on it; on a warm evening the moths will come to you.

It's a great activity to do with your children and connects them a little more with the natural world – and they don't even have to leave the garden.

Hopefully the sunshine will continue into September and wildlife will have it easy before autumn arrives.

I hope you find the time on a warm weekend to go and investigate some of Norfolk's beautiful nature reserves and see some of our natural residents in the wild.

August wildlife to watch out for…

- Sandwich terns in North Norfolk, try a boat trip from Blakeney

- Dragonflies around lakes and rivers

- Flocks of swallows over fields

- Flying ants!

Jonathan Lewis is a wildlife photographer based near Norwich. He runs a variety of courses and tours both in Norfolk and further afield. For more information visit www.norfolk-wildlife-photography.co.uk or www.facebook.com/norfolkwildlifephotography.

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