Sunday, 19 November 2017
Hawfinches at Sotterley
Arriving at Sotterley early am on Sunday 19th November, it was a nice sunny morning and I saw some birders scoping something from Rectory Lane, so parking at the old Saw Mill, I quickly walked back and joined the birders who included Paul & Jane F, always nice to see them plus another birder. Jane had the scope set up on a bird in some trees between 2 ivy clad trees at the far end of the Paddocks field. She kindly tried to show me in the scope, but each time I looked it had moved, until on my 4th attempt I finally saw the head an shoulders of a fabulous female Hawfinch. Now with me eye finally in, I spotted up to 2 Hawfinches, a male and female feeding in the trees, but frequently moving and subsequently being obscured by branches and foliage. Moving into the main park by the road just south of the Dell, I first heard and then spotted 3 Hawfinches fly in (from the east), they were then seen in the Hornbeam and then flew over to Oaks where they gave intermittent views. Another 2 Hawfinches then flew in. One female Hawfinch showed particularly well for me, being right out in the open perched on bare branches near the top of the tree on the right hand side for all of 30 seconds. Fleeting views were seen of several birds after that. Also seen was at least 1 very vocal Nuthatch on the very top of a bare branched tree. A rattling Mistle Thrush flew by. A Sparrowhawk flew overhead. A newly risen Buzzard flew up from the Dell briefly circled overhead before flying south. Nice to see Paul W, who then joined us and both Paul and I drove to Weston where we found the Oak tree with the hole (just after the bridge) viewing from the right of where we parked there was initially no sign but as I looked again the excellent Tawny Owl was perched right in the hole looking left it was only there for 10 seconds before it retreated back into the hole. A Mistle Thrush, 18 Redwing flew south and a female Sparrowhawk flew west.