Next we drove back into the Forest of Dean where our first stop was Cannop Ponds where the Mandarin Ducks were ridiculously close. Other wildfowl were Gadwall, Tufted Ducks and Little Grebe. Unusually no Marsh Tit seen or heard.
We then went to Parkend Cricket Ground where Hawfinches have been coming to seed. Just before we got there one had flown into a high tree but had departed just as quickly. We stayed for awhile but nothing was happening so we drove up to the church for a walk around the woods where our success rate in the past has been quite high. Not today though, very quiet overall with little seen. It was then back to the cricket ground where lots of birds were now coming to the seeds mainly Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Great Tits and Nuthatch. No sign of Hawfinch. Time to move on again.
We drove the short distance to Nags Head hoping for a change of luck. Walking up the hill away from the centre we started talking to a man who had had a brief glimpse of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker a few hours before out of the Campbell Hide also some Hawfinches coming down to drink at the pond. We decided to try the hide. Again not much activity although we had 14 deer walking through and I managed to get Hawfinch high in a tree which was very difficult due to the very narrow windows of the hide.
Third time lucky we thought so back to the cricket ground. Martin heard some Hawfinches (probably 3) in some of the Yew Trees unfortunately they could not be located. Then all of a sudden one flew across to the tree which the seed was below. After what seemed an eternity a beautiful male Hawfinch dropped down and started feasting on the seed. It was at this point after driving off and getting about 200 yards away Mike decides he has lost a glove. After a quick search of the car I had to drive back and we had to retrace our steps and look for the glove. No joy so another search of the car with the same result. Mike blames everyone including another birder who did not even come within 100 yards of us. Mike has another pair with him so we carry on
We then decided to have a walk around Crabtree Hill hoping to pick up the Great Grey Shrike but has in previous years with this bird it alluded us although other people observed it. Getting back to the car park we find a very confiding Treecreeper and Martin and myself start photographing it. Mike decides to join in but finds his screen completely dark and thinks I cannot remember putting the lens cap on. On looking at the end of his lens what does he find but his glove jammed in the lens hood. It could only happen to him.