Saturday 12th December 2015

The weather forecast was something of a mixed bag with wind and rain for most of the day. After a stop for breakfast, we headed north to Lynford Arboretum and as we parked, the rain started to steadily fall.

The walk down the path produced a pair of TREECREEPER plus NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and COAL TITS. At a nearby clearing we watched a female BULLFINCH feeding on berries whilst REDWING, BLACKBIRD and MISTLE THRUSH fed on the open grass.

A flock of SISKIN flew over as we neared the bridge and the few bird feeders nearby yielded several MARSH TIT, COAL TIT and many BLUE and GREAT TITS. With optics and everybody getting wetter by the minute we retraced our steps back to van with an attempt to dry off!

We drove southwards through the Santon Downham area but the rain made it difficult to see anything of note. With the weather not getting any better, a decision was made to spend the remainder of the day at the Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve at Lackford Lakes.

On arrival we headed for a coffee from the excellent visitor centre and then with the rain easing we walked around to Hawkers Pool where we had good views of a LONG-TAILED DUCK feeding alongside a few GOLDENEYE. The LONG-TAILED DUCK was constantly diving and could be timed perfectly to 30 seconds!

The rain had started to fall again so we moved to a nearby hide where TEAL, GADWALL, SHOVELER, MUTE SWAN and a few TUFTED DUCK were seen. With our stomachs rumbling we wandered back to the centre for lunch noting a small flock of SISKIN along the way.

Whilst tucking in we had great views of a male KINGFISHER feeding on the visitor centre pool. A pair of LESSER REDPOLL were seen feeding in an Alder Tree before heading off. The rest of the day was spent in the reserve hides where birds of note included COMMON BUZZARD, 500 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS and good numbers of common ducks.

After enjoying cake back at the van we headed home after what had been a great but challenging day weather-wise.