Saturday 21st September 2013.
A trip to Suffolk with Brendan and Paul. Our target birds were Two-barred Crossbill at Lynford Arboretum and Lesser-grey Shrike at Leiston near Sizewell.
We arrived at Lynford Arboretum about 07:45 and joined about 15 other birders close to the information centre. Quite soon a single Common Crossbill flew in and a perched on the top a Larch. It called for a while then flew off. A few minutes later about 20 Common Crossbills flew in and fortunately after some close scrutiny this flock contained at least 2 Two-barred Crossbills. Brendan immediately put this news out via RBA. The flock flew off but soon returned and we again managed to connect with Two-barred Crossbills. This happened several times over the next 45 minutes or so and we were able to enjoy good views of 1 adult female and 2 juvenile Two-barred Crossbill. A good result considering last time we called in at Lynford the Common Crossbill flock was approaching 70 birds with no Two-barred's amongst them (not that we could see anyway!). This time the flock was roughly half that number. Also here; Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Coal Tit.
From Lynford we headed east towards Sizewell where in the village of Leiston we were hoping to connect with the reported Lesser-grey Shrike. About an hour and fiteen minutes later we arrived in Leiston. We parked sensibly near the Half Way Cottages and made our way along the bridle way to the paddocks. As at Lynford we didn't have to wait too long before we connected with our target bird the Lesser-grey Shrike. Although the shrike was very mobile we did enjoying some really nice views.
A few good birds had been reported at nearby Sizewell, mostly strange looking mutants due to the nuclear power station! So we thought it worth a visit. Sizewell proved quite productive with most noteworthy birds seen here; Peregrine on the rusty exhaust pipes that run up the side of Sizewell (sorry not sure if A or B ), Black Redstart (2) mostly along the perimeter fence, Arctic Skua a very confiding or maybe unwell bird on the beach [update; on closer inspection possibly an "oiled" bird], Little Gull (c10) on the outfall, Common and Sandwich Tern again at the outfall, Common Scoter (c12) on/over the sea.
Next up was Ness Point at Lowestoft. Not much doing here but we did see; Red-throated Diver, Wigeon, Gannet on another brief seawatch. Nothing doing at the Links Road area of Lowestoft or Corton Sewage works either so we made Breydon Water, Great Yarmouth for our final stop of the day.
As usual a good number of waders were to be found here, including; Avocet, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Dunlin, Knot, Black-tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, Curlew. Also here; Kingfisher, Marsh Harrier, Mediterranean Gull, Common Gull, Teal, Wigeon.
On our return journey 2 Hobby's were seen near Thetford.
Pics below; Two-barred Crossbil at Lynford Arboretum, Lesser-grey Shrike at Leiston, Peregrine at Sizewell, Arctic Skua at Sizewell. All pics below are mine except the first Two-barred Crossbill which is Paul's