The Friday class was due to take place at an extremely exposed location, but the forecast was so bad, especially for the afternoon, that we switched to Tophill Low again.
The experience was pretty much a rerun of the previous day with plenary of species logged, but a drake Goosander flew north over South Lagoon early in the morning. The mischievous Ruffs delayed their appearance until the afternoon, and a drake Pintail was visible for both sessions, but more in the open after lunch.
One of the morning highlights was a male Kestrel, which seemed to show some interest in a nest box. It them flew off, but immediately locked talons with another Kestrel & they both fell vertically into an area of scrub, from where we could hear screeching from these 2 birds until it all went quiet.
The afternoon session was graced by a newcomer who had never seen a Goldfinch before, but who had always wanted to see a Woodpecker. We had just been watching a Mistle Thrush quite hidden among the twigs of a poplar, when I heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker & saw it fly in. We were able to move a little closer, and a lifetime ambition was achieved. I think she probably found the full onslaught of 40+ species within 2 hours a little overwhelming, but she will always remember her first ever sighting of a Woodpecker & her charm of Goldfinches.
Rev Reed Bunting