Anyway, at the St. Helen's carpark, there was plenty of bird activity, a good sized Tit flock (which included several Marsh Tits), several Nuthatches, Robins, Dunnocks, Chaffinches and a flock of at least thirty Brambling.
I walked along the bank of the Little Ouse river and while I didn't see or hear any Lesser Spots, I did have great views of Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker. Just before reaching the B1107 bridge I meet another birder who kindly gave me directions for the shrike and some info on the best places and times to look for Lesser Spots. I crossed the B1107 and continued along the river bank, after half a mile or so I met two more birders who showed me the shrike sitting atop a distant tree near the railway line. Given the proximity of Grime's Graves I imagine it must be the same bird. I continued a little further along to look for Lesser Spots amongst the poplars but as expected I drew a blank. On the way back the shrike had relocated and flew over my head before perching at the top of a tall hawthorn bush, pity my camera was still in the car back at St. Helen's.
So I trotted quickly back to the car, I would park near the bridge and return to the same spot and try for a photo.
However back at the car I decided I'd better eat. But first I moved my car close to the beech trees and switched the engine off. While I had my sandwiches I watched the Bramblings and Chaffinches feeding on the beech mast, cars are great hides and although the light was poor I was able to get some decent shots of the Bramblings.
|Bramblings - Santon Downham, Suffolk|
|Great Grey Shrike, Santon Downham, Suffolk|