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Rare butterfly spotted for first time in half a century

The rare Yellow-Legged Swallowtail has been spotted in Norfolk. Credit: RSPB

Butterfly enthusiasts are on the lookout for a rare species which has been spotted in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex for the first time in more than 50 years.

The Yellow-Legged Tortoiseshell is believed to have arrived in the UK from eastern Europe. The latest potential sighting was in Taverham near Norwich.

Charity issues warning to dog owners about snake bites

The Veterinary charity PDSA is warning dog owners about the potential dangers of snake bites, after one dog nearly died after being bitten on the face while out on a walk.

While it's rare to see adders - they do inhabit some of our heath and woodland in East Anglia.

But experts say the recent mild weather has produced good conditions for the snakes - and that, coupled with an inquisitive dog, can lead to a snake lashing out in self-defence.

Click below to watch a report from Lee Comley


Second Peregrine chick has fledged off Norwich Cathedral

The moment the second chick is about to fledge Credit: Hawk and Owl Trust

A second peregrine falcon chick has fledged from the top of Norwich Cathedral. The chick flew down to one of the four pinnacles on the corners of the tower.

It will now be looked after by its parents as it starts to develop its flying and hunting skills.

The first chick to fledge from the cathedral Credit: Andy Thompson, Hawk and Owl Trust Volunteer

The first chick took its first leap early on Friday morning. These pictures were taken by Andy Thompson who is a volunteer at the Hawk and Owl Trust.

The first chick ready to fledge Credit: Andy Thompson, Hawk and Owl Trust volunteer
The first chick to fledge from the top of Norwich Cathedral Credit: Andy Thompson, Hawk and Owl Trust

From postbox to nestbox

The postbox in Orford Credit: Suffolk Wildlife Trust

A postbox in the village of Orford in Suffolk has been closed as a temporary measure because a family of birds has taken up residence.

The postbox is on Gedgrave Road however to protect the birds it hasn't yet been opened to find out what species has moved in.

Norwich Cathedral's Peregrine Falcons welcome fourth and final chick

A Peregrine Falcon tending to its four new chicks high above Norwich Credit: Hawk and Owl Trust

The fourth and final egg laid by Peregrine Falcons in their nest on the spire of Norwich Cathedral has now hatched.

Staff from the Hawk and Owl Trust say the chick broke its shell at around 11am.

The first egg hatched on Saturday (26 April) just after 7:30pm, the second and third eggs hatched yesterday (Sunday 27 April) at 2:30pm and 5:30pm.

The chicks will now spend the next five weeks growing before they are ready to fledge.


Family of Peregrine Falcons almost complete

Peregrine Falcon chicks being fed on top of Norwich Cathedral Credit: Hawk and Owl Trust

Three of the four eggs laid by Peregrine Falcons nesting on the spire of Norwich Cathedral have now hatched.

The Hawk and Owl Trust say the first egg hatched on Saturday (26 April) just after 7:30pm, the second and third eggs hatched yesterday (Sunday 27 April) at 2:30pm and 5:30pm.

Peregrine Falcon chicks under the watchful eye of their parents Credit: Hawk and Owl Trust

The forth and final chick has cracked its shell but is not yet completely free.

More to follow...

Could parts of HS2 go underground?

There are calls for parts of the planned HS2 rail link in our region to built underground to protect wildlife.

A report commissioned by Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust says that hundreds of special sites could be seriously affected.

HS2 artist impression Credit: HS2 Ltd

They're calling on the government to create a plan for restoring nature if the construction work goes ahead.

Meanwhile a second report from group of local councils says tunnelling under the Chilterns should be considered to protect the area of outstanding natural beauty.

'Supermum' squirrel produces 48th Kitten

A red squirrel at a conservation centre in Norfolk has stunned wardens by producing her 48th kitten.

Affectionately named Tortoiseshell, the seven-year-old squirrel has proved to be one of the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust's greatest success stories, producing her littlers since 2008.

Tortoiseshell with one of her babies Credit: Pensthorpe Conservation Trust

Tortoiseshell and her former partner Tweedledum were considered one of the most successful breeding pairs in the Trust’s history, but when Tweedledum died in 2012 there was concern she might never breed again.

But Tortoiseshell’s latest match with new partner Bryn has produced three new kittens - two male and one female.

Wardens predict that the kittens were born between late February and early March They venture from the drey after 6 to 7 weeks and are fully weaned by 10 weeks old.

Two of Tortoiseshell's latest litter Credit: Pensthorpe Conservation Trust

Chrissie Kelley, Head of Species Management for the Trust and Coordinator for the East Anglian Red Squirrel group said “Red squirrels only survive in a handful of locations in the UK, which is why we’re so fortunate to have successful breeding pairs here at Pensthorpe.

"By having her here we can highlight the beauty and character of this enigmatic species by capturing the imagination of our visitors and educating them on their plight.”

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