Friday was our final visit of the year to a coniferous forest. We hadn’t come across Crossbills on a Friday before, so both groups were well satisfied with the views they saw. The morning group saw 4 Adders, and 3 were still ‘basking’ in the very overcast afternoon. Green Woodpeckers were out and about all day flying very close by like slightly off-kilter guided missiles. We went back a different way after lunch and saw a Willow Tit & a very colourful male Siskin. Both sessions had their first Chiffchaff of the year, which rather surprisingly was ahead of those arriving at the aquatic Tophill Low Reserve.
When I arrived on the Thursday morning at 1st I thought I was the first to arrive in the ample car park, but I eventually saw through the mist that 2 cars had already arrived. There is a large lake on the other side of the parking area, but it wasn’t even visible when we started. The bird of the morning was probably the Kingfisher which flew past our hide, which was surrounded by Reed Buntings. In the afternoon the mist cleared a lot, and we were able to observe a single Adder pointed out by an unintelligible local, and 3 Green Woodpeckers flew out of the trees, and all landed on a large mound.