The second trip out yesterday with my friend from work, she has always wanted to see a Goshawk so that was the target bird.
The forecast two weeks ago looked ideal to see them and even on Friday morning the forecast although not ideal looked good. But with all weather forecasts they seem to be 99% of the time wrong and as Friday progress the forecast worsened and rain was the main feature.
I wake up on Saturday to the roar of rain on the conservatory, I am generally a positive person when it comes to looking for birds but this did not look good.
We headed out anyway and a satellite picture on my phone suggested that the rain may ease/stop by around 11.
So with this we went to Bowthorpe Marshes first to look for the Great White Egret.
Luckily driving past the marsh on I saw the Great White Egret flying and land on the marshes to the east of the road.
We parked the car and walked down and were greeted with splendid view of the Great White Egret although in the pouring rain.
Other birds of note whilst at Bowthorpe was this Stonechat which as a nice surprise.
This Little Egret was also flying around.
A Green Woodpecker was continuously laughing although could not be seen.
We then headed to the Goshawk site and upon arrival the rain had stopped, we got out of the car and admired a field of Lapwing, Starling and various Gulls.
A Buzzard then flew through being chased by Crows and this spooked a few of the Lapwing off the field.
It then started to rain again and so I checked my phone and could see that in around another 30mins of so it should pass.
We sheltered in the car watching the Lapwings seemingly find food only to be chased by the Gulls and the Starlings for it.
The 30mins had past and the rain was just about stopping when all of a sudden every bird in the field and every pigeon in the tree scatted and were flying in a state of panic, I jumped out of the car and right in front of us was a huge female Goshawk. It quickly flew over both fields scaring more birds off their perches before circling around and was lost to view behind the trees.
We tried to view the bird though the trees but only saw the evidence of its presence as Crows and Shelduck scattered.
This pair landed close to us.
With the main target bird seen we headed for Grimes Grave to try see the Great Grey Shrike.
The area was fairly quite with only a few Coal Tits and Goldcrest around and no sign of the Shrike.
But just as we started to head back I spotted it in the distance, we got some views before it flew off.
We walked further along and then found that it had come much closer.
After this we went to Lynford Arboretum, first stop was the lakes where we saw Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe and this Oystercatcher.
When then headed around the arboretum we heard a Firecrest but could not find it. We then found a field of Thrushes that had around 20 Redwing, 9 Song Thrush and two Mistle Thrush.
The Song Thrush number at the arboretum were amazing with at least 15 birds seen, the most I have ever seen away from the Scilly Isles or on a Autumn migration site which is really good news for them.
On the bridge a fresh amount of food had been put out which allowed us to get great views of Siskin, Nuthatch and Marsh Tit along with commoner species.
The lake had a calling Little Grebe on it and a Water Rail called on the stream behind the lake.
We then walked around the paddock in the hope of seeing a Hawfinch but had no luck seeing one. Only a Stock Dove.
Walking along by the lake this Kestrel was showing well before we got to see a bird that we struggled for views with on the last outing a Treecreeper.
This bird showed well creeping up the nearby trees.
We continued around an then done the loop around next to the MOD site.
Around the back at the clearing we could hear a Bullfinch and another Green Woodpecker but couldn't see either. Then we got lucky and had 4/5 Crossbill flying around.
Upon completing the loop we headed back to the paddock for one last go at a Hawfinch, we got lucky but with a very distant view of a single bird in a pine tree.
We then got some better views of the Kestrel before heading home.
A total of 57 species seen for the day, not bad considering the weather.