Awake early again this morning, I check the phone to find no messages. So I decide to visit Lee Valley at first light.
But the plans are put on hold when just as I'm about to leave the house the phone indicates a text message. It's Brian and he's leaving for Thetford in five minutes, Do I want to go? He already knows the answer.
Shortly before 8.30 we are parked in the car park just off Nun's Bridge's Road. From here it's a short walk across the first bridge, over the second bridge and turn left.
The dipper is spotted as soon as we scan the stream. It's constantly searching for food in the small stream. The water is so clear in places that we can even watch it seeking out food under the water. It's a stunning bird and doesn't seem a bit bothered by all the attention it is receiving.
It was first seen feeding near the small bridge that we walked across and continued feeding and working it's way along the stream. Never moving out of this small stretch of water the whole time we were there.
Hearing of two Otters being seen on a fairly regular basis near this area managed to drag us away from the Dipper, but with time not on our side we failed to find them this time and headed for the car.
With the weather looking perfect for Goshawk this morning, we stopped off on the way home at a well known site and headed along the track towards the viewing area.
Woodlark was added to the year list when two birds were heard singing. Reaching the far end of the track the resident Red-tailed Hawk was spotted perched in a tree not far from us. Scopes were quickly trained on the bird and as it stretched it's wings the red tail was on full view.
Upon reaching the viewing area there were already four birders present and we were quickly joined by another three who had followed us up the track.
Thirty minutes and no sign of any Goshawks, not even a Sparrowhawk is seen. A single Crossbill calling from the trees behind us adds another year tick and shortly afterwards a small flock are found feeding in a birch tree some distance away.
Just as I am watching the Crossbills fly from the tree, the calls goes up "Gos". With Brian's directions I'm quickly on it with the bins, and I manage to pick it up again in the scope. it flies left and then circles back round giving stunning views as it glides across the sky.
With a couple of flaps of it's wings it heads lower and disappears below the tree line and out of sight. Within ten minutes another Goshawk or possibly the same bird is back in the air. With no heat haze for once the bird is giving fantastic views. It's joined in the air by a Sparrowhawk for a good comparison.
Black-bellied Dipper, Goshawk, Crossbills and Woodlark.
Not a bad morning's birding.