Tuesday 28 February – Forest of Dean Leader: Graham Blacker

30 birders (including five new members) met at New Fancy View on a drizzly morning, where we hoped to see Goshawk and/or Crossbill, unfortunately, neither were seen. We did see a couple of Bullfinch and Song Thrush before we split into two groups, one of which visited RSPB Nags Head the other continuing with the original itinerary. Stopping at Speech House for our coffee break we managed to see numerous Blue and Great Tits on a feeder along with a couple of Nuthatch and Song Thrush. Moving on to Cannop Ponds, we were treated to a large group of c20 Chaffinch, seven Nuthatch, lots of Robin and three Grey Wagtails feeding on mealworm which a kindly lady had dropped for them. Continuing onto the top pond we saw four Long-tailed Tits at very close range, bathing and making a huge fuss in a small stream. Carrying on we were greeted by 25 Mandarin Duck in the company of c50 Mallard, seven Tufted Duck, four Coot, two Canada Geese, four Greylag Geese, six Goosander and two Little Grebes along with the usual suspects. (The breakaway group also saw three Hawfinches, Greenfinch, Jay, Treecreeper and Siskin. Five Wild Boar were also spotted with a scope along with at least five stripey piglets) All in all, both groups spotted a total of 35 species in what turned out to be a wonderful day. (Thanks to Graham for leading). Graham Blacker