I arrived at what I considered to be the usual spot at around 11.30am, a bit late to be fair and becoming a bit gloomy too! Which after twenty minutes of nothing was a fair reflection of my mood! However, I met another birder who said that recently the bird had been reported from a spot about ten minutes walk further downstream (near to the tree marked '80' in luminescent green paint). That perked me up a bit so I picked up my stuff and walked on. I reached the marked tree and sat down to wait and listen, however after thirty minutes.....not a sausage!
As I was thinking of giving up a GSW started to drum and call. As I located it, a second bird began drumming further off in the distance. That drumming sounded different though, higher pitched maybe! I wondered if it might be an effect of distance and distortion of the sound as it traveled but it did sound different. I walked further along the river bank for maybe 500 yards and reached a large dead tree on the right hand side. Just as I was scanning the top branches of this tree, a small woodpecker flew in calling, landed on a branch near the top and began to drum. Up to now I had never seen or heard Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but there was no doubt that this was one. The bird spent two or three minutes drumming busily in the same spot before taking leave, flying over my head to the opposite bank of the river and stopping briefly to allow me take a few record shots. Only one shot came out but one was all I wanted - Lesser Spotted Woodpecker sorted finally!
|Female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - Santon Downham, Suffolk - 5th April 2015|
Lunchtime beckoned, so I headed back along the path to the car stopping only to watch three Mandarin ducks that dropped in briefly before setting off again up the river. A bit 'plasticy' but it'll do for my UK list - two birds added within twenty minutes is not bad!
|Male Mandarin Duck, Santon Downham, Suffolk - 5th April 2015|
|Male Hawfinch, Lynford Arboretum, Norfolk - 5th April 2015|
|Female Hawfinch, Lynford Arboretum, Norfolk - 5th April 2015|
Two birds had been reported but we only managed to see one, still a smart individual nonetheless and only my second ever Lapland Bunting (a very scarce migrant and rare winter visitor in County Cork).
|Lapland Bunting, Weybourne, Norfolk - 6th April 2015|
|Looking west along the north Norfolk coast - 6th April 2015|