Monday, 13 March 2017

Exploring parts of the Forest of Dean

After visiting the Hawfinches I went on to look for Goshawks at New Fancy Viewpoint following a tip I got from a chap whilst I was at Parkend.  Having been to Wykeham Raptor Viewpoint in Yorkshire only a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't holding my breath for any close views, but I did get some distant views of a pair so I can say that I saw them here.  I wasn't absolutely sure about these record shots, but the one and only Lee Geoffrey Evans has confirmed them for me on a Facebook Bird ID page.

A chap who had been there for a few hours said there had been ten sightings during the day including one that did come very close - it's the luck of the draw whether or not you are there when this happens. I did have quite good views of a Buzzard and could hear Ravens cronking somewhere close. It's probably a place to which I will return sometime. I wish the Goshawks had been this close, and one day they might be!

From here I went on to Cannop Ponds which is only a couple of miles away from New Fancy. I really enjoyed driving in the Forest of Dean, the trees are amazing and the roads are much better than I expected.

The star birds at Cannop Ponds are the Mandarin Ducks and the Marsh Tit.  I saw the Mandarins from the car as I drove in to the car park. There must have been around ten in total and they looked great in the sunshine.

Although originally descended form escaped birds, these beautiful ducks now have a self-supporting breeding population in the wild and are classes as a UK bird, so they can be 'ticked'.

The Marsh Tit was a surprise however, as I didn't know it was here until I watched some birds around a feeding area. I had to decide between Marsh Tit and Willow Tit and after checking my photos decided that the small fleck on the upper mandible was enough to favour Marsh Tit.  I didn't really hear it calling, but there were definitely no Willow Tit calls in the area.

There was also a pair of Little Grebes feeding in front of the reed bed and a Common Buzzard flew low overhead for a short while.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment by typing your message in the text box, selecting 'Anonymous' from the 'Comment as' drop down menu and then finally clicking the 'Publish' button. It would be nice to see your name in the text if possible - thanks.