Tuesday 01 March – Forest of Dean

The arrangement to start at Parkend at 1000 hrs was all rather last minute; however, it was rewarded with sightings of a couple of Hawfinch, which was brilliant. Finally getting to New Fancy View, a little after our time, we made the party up to a dozen. As we walked onto the viewing platform, the sun emerged, which prompted the Goshawk to fly; this was very gratifying, it being so early in their courting season. Ravens appeared, a couple of Buzzards circled, Song and Mistle Thrush sang, some Coal Tits called and a Great Spotted Woodpecker gave a couple of ‘chip chips’. We drove to Speech House, parked, and wandered down to the Beechenhurst picnic site where we had some nice views of Nuthatch on the way and most had views of Treecreeper. We flushed some Redwing, and as we walked back, a couple of Jays cackled. A pleasant lunch in the sun at Cannop Pond allowed us to study Marsh Tit and one Mandarin Duck. It was a pleasure to walk round all the ponds, with possibly an extra 20 odd Mandarin of both sexes, Greylag Goose, Tufted Duck, and some gorgeously coloured Little Grebe. At the end of the ponds the feeders were well stocked and had a couple of Siskin a-dangle, along with many of the usual tit species. At the run-off sluice, a pair of Grey Wagtails was in their usual place (must be a nest site), and at the finish more sightings of the Marsh Tit. We did try again for better views of the Hawfinch at Parkend at the end of day, but nothing doing. A total count of 39 was a good tally for the day. (Very many thanks Nick).

Nick Hawkridge