Tuesday 05 March – Forest of Dean Leader: Nick Hawkridge

The day was glorious, sun, no rain and little wind. People arrived, changed and shot up to the viewing platform at New Fancy View. I recall seeing 27 members but many other birders arrived too, who obviously felt the day had potential. Goshawk gave one brief, but good view and a few more of the ‘distant’ sort, Some calling Crossbills, many Chaffinches and Siskins were heard/seen from the platform. With the crush above, orderly couples sloped off, in succession, onto the east facing edge of the downward path, to look at, but not disturb a Common Lizard and an Adder that were enjoying the sun. After coffee, a short drive to Speech House gave us splendid views of
Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Treecreeper and some colourful Chaffinches but alas no Hawfinch. Lunch was taken, surrounded by beauty and overlooking the causeway below the top pond at Cannop, It was a sloshy old walk round the west side of the bottom pond. However, many Mandarins were found plus the two flyover Goosanders we’d seen at lunch had joined up with two others and were really quite approachable. A Mute Swan  came over to ‘harrumph’ at us and the Greylag Goose came for a hand-out. As ever the feeders at the stone works were very busy, giving the queuing birds the appearance of Christmas decorations in the surrounding trees. A final tally of 48 species was OK for this brilliant day. (Thanks to Nick for leading.) Nick Hawkridge