Santon Downham however was a waste of time, searching for the Great Grey Shrike by the river east of the church proved a fruitless exercise and in a couple of hours all I managed were a Kingfisher, Nuthatches, Great Spotted and Green Woodeckers, Marsh Tits, 2 Bullfinches, a dodgy Canada x Greylag Goose hybrid and 3 Roe Deer. Yes, it really was that bad!
So, it was on to Lynford Arboretum where thankfully the day took an upward turn. The feeders under avenue of trees beside the main arboretum had a constant stream of birds including 2 Bramblings amongst the numerous Chaffinches, a few Siskins, Nuthatch,Yellowhammer, Marsh Tits and Coal Tits. After a little while 2 Hawfinches also put in an appearance although they never came close. c4 Hawfinches were later seen in adjacent fir trees. The wind was blowing down at the paddocks so little was doing there except a few more Siskins in the alders by the bridge and a Little Grebe on the lake.
Acting on a tip off from Mick Saunt I called in at Grimes Graves on the way back through and sure enough the Great Grey Shrike was on the clearfell there. It wouldn't let me close at all but I was treated to some nice views including some hovering feeding action. Common Buzzard was the only other thing of note there.
With the excellent weather forecast I was back in the Brecks on the morning of 10th and hiking out into territory I'd not been to for years. The walk produced plenty of singing Woodlarks and Coal Tits and a solitary fly-over Crossbill before I found a clearing with a good vista. Spending the rest of the morning here was very productive for raptors with 3 Red Kites over, c12 Common Buzzards (many in display), the dodgy Red-tailed Hawk that's been in the area for years and then the target - a superb Goshawk. Add in a plethora of Siskins and 3 Bullfinches and it all added up to a bit of a clean-up!
Canada x Greylag Goose, Santon Downham
Roe Deer, Santon Downham
Hawfinch, Lynford Arboretum
Nuthatch, Lynford Arboretum
Siskin, Lynford Arboretum
Coal Tit, Lynford Arboretum
Yellowhammer, Lynford Arboretum
Marsh Tit, Lynford Arboretum
Great Grey Shrike, Grimes Graves