Monday, 16 February 2015

Forest of Dean....6th-9th February 2015

I had looked forward to this visit to the Forest of Dean and it did not disappoint...well ok the lack of a Goshawk sighting was a little disappointing but the super sightings of Crossbills and Hawfinch at Parkend more than made up for their no-show! Splendid views were had of both species, in fact my best ever views of them!

The Crossbills were around the Parkend Church area and came down periodically to drink from a couple of puddles of water alongside the small Church car park. Fortunately the water had was a very cold (and sunny for the most part) weekend!

The Hawfinch were also in Parkend and were in a grassed area which was surrounded by mostly Yew trees next to the Cricket Ground. Someone had placed seed, nuts and fatballs under one of theYew trees which then attracted Hawfinch, Blackbird, Dunnock, Robin, Song Thrush, Wren, Blue, Great & Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and  Nuthatch. Redwings were also sighted but kept their distance as they sifted through leaf mould. It was a treat to see the Hawfinch so closely, their plumage is absolutely stunning! A wonderful experience having lengthy views of these birds at fairly close quarters!


New Fancy View.
As mentioned earlier a Goshawk was not sighted, this is my 3rd attempt of having a Goshawk sighting at New Fancy, maybe a 4th visit in the future will be  lucky!
Green Woodpecker, Chaffinch, Siskin, Green Woodpecker, Raven and a Kestrel were notable sightings, heard only were a drumming Woodpecker and the squeals of a Wild Boar!
Cannop Ponds
Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Treecreeper, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Robin, Mandarin Duck, Little Grebe, Mute Swan, Mallards, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen and bathing Raven were the highlights on a walk around the ponds.

Symonds Yat Rock
A male Peregrine perched distantly in trees by the nesting sight was the only sighting of this species today, still very nice to see viewed through a scope. A couple of Common Buzzards circled around a couple of times one being a pale phase Buzzard. Cormorants, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Blue & Great Tit, Chaffinch and distant views of what I believe to be Roe Deer were the highlights!

Cormorants roosting.
It had been a great few days in the wonderful area that is the Forest of Dean.



  1. We have hawfinch at Rufford Park in Notts, but mostly in the tree tops, I doubt I'll ever see one. As for those stunning crossbills...

  2. Superb sunny images of Crossbill & Hawfinch Pam, I've never seen either at such close quarters or in good light! Such wonderful plumages on both bird species!
    Am looking forward to a long weekend away in March......(all being well re hosps etc!)......we want to visit L. Moss pining for that Lemon Drizzle cake!! lol

  3. They were my best ever views of Hawfinches and Crossbills Si, never give up hope!

    The two species are something special to see at close quarters, I was very lucky Ruth!
    Leighton Moss, a splendid reserve and splendid was Coffee cake when we visited and delicious! The homemade soup went down well too! Enjoy if you go!