I had full intentions of going to Lynford Aboretum this evening to see the Two-barred Crossbills, but I was so exhausted, I just didn't have the energy to drive over there after work. I decided to go and find my own and stay local. I went to Sandringham, main carpark and had a good look at all the larch trees, but found nothing at all. Billy R. arrived on site shortly after me, also looking for Two-barred Crossbills!
I decided to go and have a look for crossbills at Ringstead Downs NWT which has good numbers of larch trees. On route, I was driving along the minor road, that runs from Sedgeford to Ringstead when I noticed lots of birds on telegraph wires along a narrow, tarmac road off to my right. I spun the car round and parked in a pull-in area along the narrow road. Through my scope I could see yellowhammers and goldfinches, all lined up along the wires. Looking back to the road I had just pulled off, I realised that there was also a very large bunting sitting alone on a wire – this bird was silhouetted against the sun and because of the size I just presumed Corn Bunting. I walked underneath the telegraph wire to get the sun behind me in order to get a better view of the bird, which had a big bulky yellow bill. I was surprised that the bird remained on the wire after I walked underneath it, but it didn't budge! I can't really explain why, but this bird somehow seemed different, I mean – it had to be a corn bunting, but it seemed bigger and well there was just something about it. After photographing the bunting, I studied the view finder to look at my shots and when I next looked up the bird was gone and I couldn't re-locate it, very frustrating. But when I posted the photos to someone later this evening, they confirmed that it was indeed a corn bunting, so sadly nothing more exciting! There was a massive field fire in the distance which I think must be have been near Docking and fire engines were on the scene – the smell of smoke filled the air. There was swathes of wild flowers and thistles along this road which should have been teaming with butterflies, but I only saw a Ringlet and a Gatekeeper.
I returned to the main road and on the way to Ringstead I had wonderful views of a Little Owl perched in a Beech Tree and also another flying across the road between Ringstead and Holme! The time had run out and it was now too late to walk to Ringstead Downs. Went to visit my parents for a while before returning home.
PICTURES TO BE ADDED