13 members managed to get to Budby in spite of delays due to road works and flat tyres. The group set off at about 08:40 in still but cold, dull weather. Expectations were raised by an early sighting of 2 Goldcrests but when we arrived on the Common, all was deathly quiet. And so it remained as we walked around the perimeter of the entire area the only joy other than a chance to have a chat with each other, was the distant song of a Chaffinch. Three quarters of the way round, a couple of late comers were spotted on an intercepting path. Upon meeting up, they had the cheek to report that they’d seen 2 Green Spotted Woodpeckers, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Stonechat. The group then retraced this pair’s steps hoping for a repeat of their sightings and preying for at least one view of a Woodlark. Sadly, none of this came to pass and we arrived back at the cars with very little in the notebook! We then moved on to the Welbeck Raptor Watchpoint where our luck changed with the sighting of a pair of Goshawk flying together and displaying the massive difference in size between the male and the much larger female. As a bonus, we also got occasional views of the Russian White-fronted Geese when they poked their heads above a
distant bank and also a single Pink-footed Goose amongst the Greylags. Thanks to Martin Smith who somehow managed to get this photo of one of the White-fronts in appalling weather about a kilometre distant.
The dynamic duo from Budby then turned up and to add insult to injury, had the audacity to tell us that they’d also seen 3 Woodlark, one of which had been singing. (I’m going with them next time.)
And then the forecast snow arrived, which in keeping with our earlier level of luck, was an hour early so we all ‘ran for the hills’.
39 species in all.