Monday, 18 March 2013
Just don't mention the rugby!!!
With both Martins busy and Mike re-arranging his sock drawer Phil phoned me and asked did I fancy a trip to the Forest of Dean, I said fine as long as you don't mention the rugby to anyone while we are there as English rugby fans are notoriously tetchy once their team has been spanked by the Welsh. First stop was Parkend to look for Hawfinch and within minutes Mr.Hill had got onto a small group of them feeding in the top of the trees, I myself only saw one but Phil said there were at least another three possibly four that had flown down deeper into the woods but despite a good look we were unable to relocate them the only other bird of note was a G.S.Woodpecker, two other birders joined us for a while and in all fairness to Phil it only took him a few minutes to smugly mention the rugby! Next stop was Nags Head but this was really quiet with just a pair of Greylags and Mandarins on the pond by the hide so we decided to move onto New Fancy View, we met Mr.Murch in the carpark and walked up to the view point. On reaching the summit the place was heaving with birders and we struggled to find a place to set up our scopes mainly due to the place being invaded by nearly thirty members of the Glamorgan Bird Club! but once we managed to find a space it wasn't long before we had decent views of a Goshawk perched in a distant tree, we said hello to a few of the lads and as the place was dead apart from the Gos we moved onto Cannop Ponds. We started at at the stoneworks end and scanned the feeders but apart from a few Siskins, Nuthatch and Blue/Coal and Great Tits the place was again quiet so walked to the picnic area and scanned the feeding table there, again lots of common birds but then a Marsh Tit flew in giving us brief but good views other birds of note were Grey Wagtail, female Reed Bunting and at least 25 Mandarins on the pond, we stopped for lunch where once again Phil decided to mention the rugby to an elderly couple who had us in stitches with some of the things they were saying but too rude to mention on this blog!!!! Last port of call was Boy's Grave which has become really overgrown since my last visit a few years ago, Phil got onto a distant Crossbill and that was it the place was dead so we returned to the car and drove home, I didn't count how many species we had for the day but Phil not mentioning the rugby got into double figures,and yes just for the record I drove again.