For various reasons I didnt get out until 21st. The morning of which found me at Santon Downham looking for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker with also a chance of Willow Tit (apparently).
After a couple of hours searching without a sniff, a Lesser Spot suddenly decided to respond to my occasional bursts from the ipod. A real rush of adrenalin as I reached for the camera but instead of coming nearer it headed off deeper into the wood! 90 mins later and I was still trying to relocate it. It was now drizzling and the light was starting to fail, I checked the time and it was 13.30! I had to look again. 1.30 in the afternoon and the light was going. That was a real sinking feeling.
Woods at Santon Downham
RAF Lakenheath just a few miles down the road
I was in a bit of a hurry so the discovery of around 30 Waxwings in a tree beside the road in Brandon was only given the minimum of attention. This involved reversing back down the busy road and hanging out the camera to get a couple of record shots.
I arrived at Sculthorpe Moor with around 30 mins of daylight left. However on getting inside the wood that had soon disappeared so had to give it up for the day.
With wind and heavy rain forecast for the next few days I contemplated heading home but then thought of all the effort I had put into the year and decided to carry on. The decision was to drive up to Donna Nook to be there in the morning. After about an hours driving in heavy traffic and only getting a few miles past Kings Lynn I just couldnt carry on! I was tired, wet and thoroughly depressed! The last place I wanted to be was the windswept saltmarshes of Donna Nook! I turned the car around and headed straight to the Premier Inn at Kings Lynn.
The next morning was wet and windy as forecast, but summoning up the last of my will power I decided to give Sculthorpe Moor one more go for Willow Tit and then perhaps head down to Essex for Lap Bunt. Sadly it was all in vain and I had to finally admit defeat when a showery early morning turned into a really heavy downpour. And that was that! With the appalling weather it took me the rest of the day to get home.
Actually a pretty good place for photography with lots of birds feeding outside the numerous hides. Light levels just too low though today
During Christmas, thoughts started to drift toward a possible Scotland trip with some goodies in Aberdeenshire and a chance to get Caper back! But it was not to be. Too many things going on and some really shite weather put pay to that idea. I could have probably got a couple more ticks but was never going to get 6. So the photo list is 294, I havent heard of anybody photographing more species in a year so presumably a British record but not the hoped for 300.
There is always next year...