Garth Peacock
A new destination for me


Catching up with a local rarity

Friday 14th June 2024

Tanzania - Day 1 - Arusha

Monday 13th May 2024

Spring Tide at RSPB Snettisham

Saturday 13th April 2024

Things didn't go to plan

Friday 5th April 2024

Fowlmere RSPB Cambs

Wednesday 20th March 2024

Another trip to Norfolk

Tuesday 12th March 2024

Frampton Marsh (again)

Tuesday 5th March 2024

Snettisham RSPB

Tuesday 20th February 2024

A new destination for me

Monday 5th February 2024

A change of plan

Tuesday 30th January 2024

Three hours at Grafham Water

Monday 22nd January 2024

A strange week overall.

Friday 19th January 2024

Norfolk Coast

Tuesday 16th January 2024

New Year - where to go?

Monday 8th January 2024

Coton Cambridgeshire

Wednesday 20th December 2023

Back to Burwell Fen

Saturday 9th December 2023

Short-eared Owls

Monday 4th December 2023

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Monday 5th February 2024

A friend and I had planned a trip somewhere last Wednesday - 31st January - but where to go. Lea Valley was a choice but then my friend suggested Mayday Farm in Thetford Forest. Now The Brecks and Thetford Forest is a total mystery to me. Pine trees in orderly rows interspersed with open grassed areas and they all look the same.

The last time I went there, I was advised to go to a location where Goshawks are regularly seen. I seemed to be walking for miles, never saw a Goshawk, or, come to that, didn't see anything except rows and rows of pine trees.

Well, we decideed to try Mayday Farm, with detailed instructions from someone far more knowledgeable of the area than us.

Car park found and car deposited. Walk up the track until a sign Goshawk Trail and then bear off to the left, follow a rough footpath through the trees until the wooden screen. Well the screen had been virtually demolished by the recent gales but it overlooked an open grassy area with small ponds, the main one of which was surrounded by scrub and a couple of taller trees.

So we waited and, sure enough, a small flock of Crossbills landed in the taller trees, checking us out before coming to drink in the pool. They were very cautious and the first photo opportunity was a male Siskin that landed on the scrub.

Eventually, the Crossbills came in with their various colour schemes of male, immature male and female.

and settled down to drink.

and finally ,the image that I really like - something different.

We were advised to try another pool further up the ride so we decamped there. Really surprised at the small size and almost totally surrounded by scrub so it was dark in there, not helped by the cloudy weather.

First in was a lone Coal Tit.

We didn't have long to wait as a large flock of mixed Redpolls and Siskins flew in and made their way in to drink.

and a shot of them together.

Fine, until I got home and checked the species. That last photo was of a Common (Mealy) Redpoll with the Siskin - much rarer than the Lesser Redpoll and then I found another Common (Mealy) Redpoll

Not many photos from that session were keepers because of the high ISO (8000+) but, never-the-less, an interesting day. Must try it in the spring for different species.