No sooner had we started walking into the woods on a beautiful Sunday morning than a Goshawk appeared low over the canopy before disappearing. It was a large bird, making it a female. Another sighting soon followed — this time a male!
We heard Siskins singing and a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming, and soon came across Marsh Tits feeding in pairs as we walked the trails. We managed to hear the distant songs of Woodlark and Mistle Thrush, while getting decent views of some of the calling Goldcrests.
One thing in our favour was the beaming sunshine now hitting the branches and tempting Treecreepers, Nuthatches and Siskins into view as we retraced our steps.
Raising the binoculars at a familiar shape high in the trees revealed that it was indeed a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker! We had a couple of minutes of viewing as the female bird picked over a few different trees and delivered its piercing 'kee-kee-kee' call.
Four Egyptian Geese, a Little Egret and an incubating Grey Heron in the trees on the far side kicked things off from the new hide by the visitor centre at Warnham Local Nature Reserve.
Stopping at the first feeding station produced good views of a couple of Siskins and a Song Thrush.
We spent most of our time in the famous Woodpecker Hide, hearing a Water Rail and enjoying great views of the likes of a group of Reed Buntings, a male Greenfinch, and several Long-tailed Tits and Chaffinches. A female Great Spotted Woodpecker spent a while on the feeders on the left-hand side. A male Pheasant and a Wren both made use of a nice dust-bathing spot.
A lakeside interlude produced nice views of a small group of Pochards and Tufted Ducks, as well as the pair of Great Crested Grebes.