Anser Birding Gloucestershire day trip 31 January 2009

We set off from Whitminster at 0800 and were in the Forest of Dean at New Fancy View by 0845. I had planned to take in Frampton Pools at the end of the day but we did not leave the Forest until late in the day.

We began with a Green Woodpecker, Nuthatches, Coal, Blue and Great Tits feeding happily around the car park. A bright male Brambling was joined by a female and then another male as they fed among 30 Chaffinch. Best of all was a very bright male Hawfinch perhed in the birches. From the rather cold viewpoint we added a few more birds but the Easterly wind made it uncomfortable for searching out birds so we left early.

A search of a couple of clearings for shrike was unsuccesful so we had a walk around Nagshead RSPB. A Marsh Tit, Treecreeper and a few other common birds were seen in this quality Oak woodland. A stop at Beechenhurst for comfort, cake and coffee was made, Nuthatch and Coal Tit fed on the flapjack put out for them. We returned to Cannop Ponds and saw two Great spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Grey Wagtail, 40 Mandarin, 3 Little Grebe, a pair of Goosander, a flock of Siskin and a pair of Goshawk. Many other common birds were seen. A brief stop at Speech House gaves us  thrushes, Mistle, Song, Blackbird and Redwing all fed on the turf.

At Brierley we had a longer walk which porved to be very quiet apart from a flock of Redpoll flying over, Goldcrests and a few tits. We drove to the east end of Woorgreens and went for another long walk finding a showy Willow Tit among the commoner species and a pair of Goosander.

Sadly the Forest was quieter than usual, no Crossbill or Dipper were seen but I will try again next month.

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