Tuesday, 14 February 2017

FOD and Hawfinches

Date: 13/02/2017
Location: Forest of Dean
Weather: Some Blue Skies, plus a little Overcast
Other Species: 
Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird, Robin, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Hawfinch, Buzzard, Marsh Tit, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Dipper, Mandarin Duck, Mute Swan, Raven, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Waxwing, Goldcrest, Siskin, Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Greylag, Canada Goose, Sparrowhawk, Jay.

Been waiting for blue skies and today they were forecast, so headed the 40 miles to the fabulous Forest of Dean. Our mission was Hawfinch, Crossbill and Great Grey Shrike.
Started early and arrived at Parkend at 7:30AM first light, even better we were the only ones there! Parked up and waited.... waited and waited nothing going on, had Nuthatches, Coal Tits and plenty of Blackbirds but not the target, Hawfinches. We watched from van, people walking under the Yew trees disturbing everything but held our ground, sat a waited then just after 8:30 HAWFINCH! 
Grabbing camera and getting a few shots of these cracking birds.

 Saw 4/5 Enter the Yew trees where we were and 2 came on to ground, 

Light was hard and a bit dim but managed some half decent shots.

6 mins later they were gone!

Then 3 Deer wandered across green, a bit unusual.

We waited until 9:15 but Hawfinches didn't return so boots on and up to Parkend Church for Crossbill. Stopped on small stream and we saw 2 Dipper, excellent, one was cleaning and the other flew down stream and out of view.

Parkend Church saw Greater Spotted Woodpecker and more Nuthatches but little else so headed back to Van. 
A few more cars had turned up with lens popping out of car windows.

Next we headed to Mallard Pike, we parked on road and walked in, there is a toilet there so after making use of, walked around small lake finding a leucistic Mandarin and several other Mandarins also Greylag and lots of dogs, O Joy. 

Next stop was Crabtree Hill for Great Grey Shrike we hunted all it's normal spots but no joy, on walking back towards Woorsgreen lake Lauren, eagle eyes spotted 3 Waxwing.
A real surprise to see and a bonus.

No GGS or Crossbill were seen, so next stop Cannop Ponds always a great place to park up.
Filled the logs and feeder up and sat back to wait in fact didn't have to wait Nuthatch, Marsh Tit, Great, Blue Tits, Robins were on logs before I even turned around! 

Always good to get close to Nuthatches.

Marsh Tits also.

After a hour or so headed for wander round Cannop Ponds.
To our surprise no Mandarin were on lake Gadwall, Little Grebe, Tufted and Cormorant were present so took a few pictures.

Little Grebe being a bit elusive.

Then about to go and a single male Mandarin flew in, such stunning birds.

So almost tea time and headed up to Fancy View for Chunky Chicken and potatoes and a last hunt of the skies, nothing more was spotted but tea was lovely!

To end another shot of the Hawfinch, you just gotta!

Thanks For Looking! 
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