Monday, 31 December 2012

Forest of Dean.... 27th-30th December 2012.

My first visit to the Forest of Dean was most enjoyable apart from the dreadful weather. The floods seen in fields etc were an eyeopener, I pity those who are still suffering the effects of the rains this year.

This image of my wellies sets the scene of the weather conditions!

The first area visited was the viewpoint at New Fancy, amazing views though unfortunately no Goshawks today but two Ravens were still a pleasing sight and sound.

It was evident were the Wild Boar had been foraging! What a mess they make of grassy areas. The grassed verges alongside roads, parkland and reserves in fact almost anywhere there was grass had been foraged by Wild Boars, to say it looked an eyesore is an understatement. A pity this has happened in such a beautiful area!

Parkend was visited twice in search of Hawfinch that frequent the area but to no avail. No Hawfinch to be seen but a Green Woodpecker, c 20 Long-tailed Tits, Great and blue Tits, Robin and a Jay were a delight to see in the area of Parkend Church.

Cannop Ponds in the rain was still good! Highlight species seen were Siskin, Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Robin, Nuthatch, Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Mandarins, Little Grebe, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck and Raven! A super area and popular judging by the amount of people seen on two visits.

RSPB Nagshead was visited twice though sadly it was very quiet of birds due no doubt again to the wet weather! Highlight species seen were Nuthatch, Robin, Blackbird and Buzzard x2, in fact these were the only birds seen! I hope to visit again sometime in the New Year when the reserve like many others will be bursting with Flora and Fauna.

The views of the River Wye and surrounding areas from Symonds Yat Rock viewpoint were spectacular and I am sure on a clearer day would have been even more spectacular! A perched Peregrine, Blackbird and Carrion Crow were the only birds to be seen and lovely they were too!

A short visit to WWT Slimbridge was made on the return journey home. The Bewick's Swans were a delight to see even though there was just a handful in the Rushy Pen at the time of our visit. The view from the Holden Tower is what I had been waiting to see and I was not disappointed! The sightings list for the morning had Lapwing 3200, Golden Plover 2060, Dunlin 100 and Curlew 97 from the Holden Tower and what a sight the Waders were when they took flight especially so the Golden Plovers! A pity the sun did not shine! Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler, Teal, Whitefronted Geese and Black-tailed Godwit were also seen in impressive numbers! It was a short visit to Slimbridge and a great one!
This is my last post of 2012. I wish those who follow my Blog or those who happen to chance upon it a Healthy and Happy New Year 2013!


  1. Happy New Year to you Pam!
    Great to read about your latest birding trip,such a shame about the least it's the same everywhere isn't it!
    You've taken some lovely pictures despite the conditions,those Flamingos look so colourfeul,nice to see the Marsh Tit and Mandarins too!

    We've had a good days birding here with Goosander,Redpoll,Kingfisher and Goldcrest being the highlights.....and the xmas decs are down and away!!!!! lol

    I hope you have a safe,healthy and happy 2013 with lots of super birding moments to blog about!

  2. It sounded like a lovely visit Pam apart from the weather, you managed some lovely photos too. You must go back again in the Summer and see it all from another perspective. I would love to go and if we didn't have an elderly dog who can't be left for too long we would, it is years since I have been to Slimbridge too.

    I think I spied a little Marsh Tit at the seed tray....always a nice find. Lovely to see the Mandarin Ducks too, I have never seen them in my area at all.

    Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy New Year :-)

  3. Thank you and a Happy, Safe and Healthy New Year to you Ruth!

    You have started 2013 with some great bird species seen Ruth!I hope your future birding trips are as productive.
    Christmas decorations are all but down, I always leave something up until twelfth night!

    Enjoy a great 2013 Ruth!

  4. ......................

    It was a good visit Jan, always nice to explore new locations whatever the weather. I hope to have a return visit in March/April, there should be some nice Warblers at RSPB Nagshead by then and Spring Wildflowers!

    A pity you cannot travel far but understandable Jan, I would do the same in your position with an elderly dog.

    You did spy a little Marsh Tit on the seed tray, it made several fleeting visits. I could have spent hours watching the birds come and go but the rain eventually put paid to!

    Thank you for your wishes Jan. I wish you in return a Happy and Healthy New Year.