The planned day out with Aileen and Bridget started well, blue skies after a sea mist at the coast. We made very good - unexpected - progress and were at our meeting spot, the bridge at Santon Downham, 40 minutes before nine o'clock. I'd hardly started my breakfast when Bridget drew up behind us, they were early too. Two men were obviously following the bird's progress so we joined them in time for Pam and I to see a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in the roadside trees. Not the best of views as it was against the light but in bare trees which helps. Both the others had missed it so everyone, bar me, set off up the road towards St Helens picnic site. My sciatica was crippling this morning so I sat in the car watching a Nuthatch return to its nesthole. Pam hastened back to drive me to the bridge where they'd seen a Grey Wagtail after good views of three L S Woodpeckers.The wagtails had gone, despite my hobbling along the riverbank for 200 yards in an effort to see them. As it was now overcast and rather cold, we decided that the longish walk at Ollies Farm for Goshawks would be in vain, poor conditions for flight. Instead we drove to Mayday Farm hoping that we could drive a fair way along the track as on our last visit. The gate was padlocked to-day so the disabled car park it was.
A short way along the track, at the crossroads near a hidden pool,we scoped a splendid male Crossbill which adorned the top of a conifer for at least 10 minutes. A flock of Siskins flew about the area but no sign of any Woodlarks to-day.
We walked along the 'Goshawk Trail' with no sign of any birds in the air - apart from exceedingly noisy metal ones - so returned to our cars, made our farewells and were home by late lunchtime.