Sunday 12 March – Forest of Dean, Nags Head Leader: Robert Hargreaves

A group of eleven set out from the RSPB Nagshead visitor centre to Cannop Ponds and back, a five mile circuit. We walked through mixed terrain of new and old woodland, quarries, brooks and ponds, using a range of techniques to traverse fallen trees and muddy banks. The weather was kind to us, with plenty of sunshine; the predicted late afternoon rain held off. As we climbed through the woods on the Nagshead section of the walk we saw Goldcrest and a Firecrest, as well as Nuthatch, and a Treecreeper. Looking out across the valley a Buzzard soared and then perched on a tree in plain view. We descended to Cannop Ponds where we ate lunch watching the abundance of waterfowl and at least three previously elusive Siskin which descended on the feeding stations giving close up views. We saw Goosander, Wigeon, Mandarin, Tufted Duck, and Little Grebe. An elusive Dipper popped in and out of view in the stream between the ponds. A Sparrowhawk soared overhead and in the far distance we caught sight of another bird of prey – was it the Goshawk we’d been hoping to spot all day? A hastily convened panel of experts agreed it was. In all, we saw 41 species. A huge thanks to Jane Cumming for a full list of sightings and to Robert Hargreaves for leading. David Gunnell