Anser Birding Forest of Dean 29 January 2011
We had all met up by 0930 at New Fancy View where we were greeted by 7 showy Crossbills, most were males, some very bright and one female. They fed in the larches for awhile before swapping to an ash tree to clean bills before heading off. A look from the viewpoint was rather chilly but a couple of Great Spotted Woodpecker showed. A few pairs of Coat Tits and Siskins passed by but it was quiet. We moved to Speech House and looked around the hotel and woods, plenty of common tits and Chaffinch were seen plus Nuthatches, c 100 Blackbird and nearby at Boy’s Grave a Woodcock which flew across the heath, 47 Lesser Redpolls and a Green Woodpecker. At Brierley large flock of 40+ Coal Tit with a Willow Tit and a few Long-tailed Tits appeared, surrounded and then passed by us. A single immature male Crossbill, 12 Lesser Redpoll and a Marsh Tit were also seen. Other species noted included Treecreeper, Jay, Mandarin, Buzzard and common woodland species.
At Parkend Church we had three Marsh Tits, a flyover male Goshawk but no Dippers nearby on the brook. Woorgreens Lake was our last stop where three male and a female Goosander were resting on the pond. A cold day with some quiet moments but we managed to get a good set of birds.
Anser Birding Forest of Dean 5 February 2011
Despite strong gusty winds and a bit of drizzle we set of at 0830 arriving at 0915 in the Forest. First stop was at Speech House where lots of common tits and finches were vocal. I spotted a Hawfinch flying across the clearing to the trees. Moving in a bit closer I could hear them, c 5 were present and we soon had one in the scope for all to see. A flock of 40 Redwing fed on the field with two Mistle Thrush. Returning to the car we had more views of a Hawfinch. We moved to New Fancy view where c20 Brambling, 40 Chaffinch, 4 Greenfinch and a few common species of bird fed, I left some finch seed as a thank you. From the viewpoint it was far too windy for birding but a group of Red Deer could be seen.
We tried Parkend village for Dipper but had no luck. We stopped at Cannop Ponds where Siskins, Nuthatch and Mandarins all showed well. Best of all a female Goshawk flew across the valley flushing the Woodpigeons. A walk into the Oakwoods gave us a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a displaying pair of Ravens. Moving onto Brierley we had a long walk which was very fruitful, initially quiet, we had a couple of Bullfinch and Redpoll and soon ran into a group of Crossbill, they showed brilliantly for us and about 30 were present. They were busy, feeding, clinging onto the swaying treetops and even singing. We enjoyed them for c20 minutes as they moved about. A party of 15 Lesser Redpoll were also enjoyed by everyone.
Everyone seemed pleased with the views and we moved to Woorgreens and took another walk, this area is rather quiet but it was getting darker and windy here. A few Coal Tits and Goldcrests called and we finished up for the day.