Monday, 26 February 2018

Forest of Dean birding and bores

Cannop Pool
A real raptor day
 New Fancy View
Overgrown viewpoint
 Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike
 You looking at me
Nice with Chorizo
With the big freeze approaching fast you could certainly feel the easterly wind on Friday as I headed down to the Forest of Dean with fellow patch birder Chris Lane. I planned a circle of the forest giving us the best chance to see as many of local species as possible. 

First stop was Cannops Pools were the highlight was 36 Mandarin Ducks. I've had to work hard for these on occasions but this time we had no such worries as they were swimming around, resting on banks & also flying between the pools.

We didn't score with Crossbills at Parkend Church but did get stunning view of Goshawk emerging from the forest in front of us then circling giving us super views as two Greater Spotted Woodpeckers were drumming hard. Siskin were noted in most places during the morning. Two Hawfinches flew east behind the church and we saw another couple on the green when passing through.

It was then up to New Fancy View where there were a handful of birders looking for their year ticks. It was quiet for twenty minutes until I picked up two birds on the horizon of which one started to display to the pleasure of the audience of birders. Chris picked up a Peregrine & there were also Sparrowhawk & Common Buzzards.

I did warn Chris on the walk to Crabtree Hill I'd never seen this particular Great Grey Shrike on five previous visits and a number of photographers past us returning to the carpark with glum faces and telling us "no sign mate ".

There was no need to worry as the Butchers Bird perched up beautifully and stood out as we reached the brow of the hill. We watched him move around his terriotry and catching prey. The distant images I took do no justice to this stunning bird.

Back at the car park four Wild Boar were munching their way through any remaining grass looking to a late lunch. It was fabulous to see the boars at such close quarters but also a bit alarming that they appeared so tame. A morning of quality birding..............

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