Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Bird Song Group Trip Report

Bird Song Skills Improvement Group:
Forest of Dean    22nd March 2014

Highlights include a target species Hawfinch in the beech trees below Parkend Church. Here up to 20 illusive birds moved through the treetops constantly making sharp and high-pitched “tic” contact calls, although some of us needed to be close to hear these. This is a reliable location for this species and finding them was not really surprising.  However while searching larch woods for illusive Crossbills at Serridge Ridge, we were treated to a real surprise, with first the call and then a brief but splendid view of Goshawk, a large female as she flew low over us.

At Crabtree Hill there is a large clearing with debris of felled trees. Here we quickly located a long staying Great Grey Shrike. Apparently this bird had been reported as singing on the 15th although on our visit the bird was not heard. We did though have another unexpected find here, Woodlark, ascending in silence from the same area as the shrike. We subsequently heard the flight calls as two Woodlarks flew past us, but no full song.  Perhaps the birds will summer here?

During our walk we enjoyed hearing and watching a number of passerines that are commonly found in the forest including Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Crossbills, Song Thrush and Blackbird. At Cannop Ponds, we encountered several wildfowl species including a Little Grebe that called just once, and around the bird feeders by the Stone Works Grey Wagtail, Dunnock and more Siskins. My bird list for the day totalled a very respectable 43. 

The SIG will be back in the Forest of Dean in May visiting Nagshead RSPB reserve for Pied Flycatchers and warblers.

Lucy Delve

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