Trip Report – Budby Common – 12th March 2020

Twelve members turned up on a beautiful sunny day but with a howling gale blowing across the common, birding was not going to be easy.  In spite of everything, the party managed to clock 48 species.  As we climbed the gentle hill from the parking spot, a couple of our keen eared members heard Crossbills but sadly we had no sightings and for the most part, the smaller birds were keeping their heads down.  In contrast, the resident Buzzards seemed to be tracking us throughout our stay and making their voices heard above the gale.  We walked to the far western end of the common where there was some shelter provided by a belt of conifers and there we were able to enjoy some respite and get good views of Yellow Hammers and Goldfinch.  On the return, the wind dropped briefly and gave most members a brief view of 5 Woodlark and hear the distinctive falling notes of their song.  Unfortunately, this was the briefest of lulls and with the return of the wind, the birds and their song disappeared.
Most of the group then drove over to the Welbeck Raptor watch point where those who were quick off the mark got good but brief views of a Goshawk which then didn’t reappear. As some compensation, a Red Kite did a slow fly past and a Peregrine flew across and then overhead giving everyone excellent views for several minutes.
After that the party decamped to the pub at Cuckney for some compensatory refreshment.
No photos this time – the photographers never raised a lens to the sky!

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