Friday, 24 February 2017

Symonds Yat and Forest of Dean


Just back in from a day out in Gloucestershire and to one of my favourite places, Symonds Yat Rock and the nearby Forest of Dean. Sunshine and breeze is key to success at these sites early in the year so today seemed the best recent opportunity...

We started at Symond's Yat Rock overlooking the River Wye and were the first ones there. Most of the action was over and done by 9.30am with two or three male Goshawks (mostly at long range) careering around high up, displaying and interacting. One did arrive overhead but as usual we still didn't manage nice close views. The Peregrines were on form and came closer as they gained height to attack passing pigeons and as the strength of the breeze grew, battalions of Common Buzzards filled the air with as many as thirty individuals displaying and calling. The Ravens were active too and fly-over finches included Crossbill.

In the Forest of Dean we encountered Mandarin Ducks at two sites, eight Goosanders, another three or four Goshawks, plenty more Buzzards and Ravens, three Hawfinches, the wintering Great Grey Shrike at Crab Tree Hill and the usual supporting cast of woodland birds.


Neil M


Immature male Goshawk

Peregrine, showing considerably
closer than the Goshawks!

Drake Mandarin Duck.

Male Crossbill.

Sadly the only Wild Boar
we saw in the forest
was this dead one
beside the road...

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