Trip reports

Field Trip to The Forest of Dean

Field Trip to The Forest of Dean
RSPB Images

Sunday, 1 April 2012

It was quite a cold start to the day, considering the warm weather we had the week before. However it soon warmed up throughout the day.
Eight of us arrived at the New Fancy car park to start the trip. We all had some difficulty getting to the car park as the road was closed due to the Forest of Dean half marathon being held that day. The marshal moved the barriers aside to let our cars through once he realized that we were birding.
At the car park we saw mallards flying over head and green finch. From the view point at New Fancy we did see a goshawk in flight but it was quite a distance away. There were several buzzards in flight and we all had a very good view of one perched in the forest and of course of the runners in the marathon! Around the viewing area we saw chiffchaffs, carrion crow, robin and blue tits setting up home in a tree hole
We then went to Speech House to look for the hawfinch that can be found in the trees adjacent to the school nearby. However, the field behind Speech House was being used as a car park for the half marathon and there were cars and people everywhere. As there was little chance of seeing hawfinch we decided to go straight to Nagshead nature reserve.
After lunch at the visitors centre we made our way to the lower hide and on the way carrion crow, pheasant, nuthatch and chaffinch were spotted.
On one of the ponds at the lower hide, a male and female mandarin duck were found, the colours of the male mandarin duck were very impressive.
Coal tit, blue tit, wood pigeon, great tit, nuthatch and a female great spotted woodpecker were seen in the trees around the ponds.
On the way back to the Campbell hide roe deer were roaming in the meadow.
At the Campbell hide, blue tits, great tit and a black bird were bathing in the pond with coal tit and goldfinch drinking nearby. Wood pigeon and a male and female siskin were seen in the trees. We also watched nuthatch collecting mud at the pond which they use to reduce the size of the tree holes where they nest to help stop their eggs and young being predated. A jay and a marsh or willow tit was also present in the woods around the church in Park End.
So all in all we had a very good day, even though the half marathon was taking place.
Viv Jenkins