Monday, January 27, 2020

Forest of Dean - just a little late!

It's been months since I posted here, and I have come the conclusion that I either get back into the Blog now or just drop it altogether, so let's try again. Just forgive me for the untimely posting!

2019 was a funny year. Having retired I expected to get a lot more snapping done, but life intervened and if anything I was down on opportunities.  One principal target for the year was due to be the woodland migrants in the Forest of Dean - wood warbler, pied and spotted flycatcher and redstart.  In the end I was probably lucky to get any pics at all.  My preferred venue was very slow - none of the usual spotted flycatchers, and although I heard the odd redstart I didn't find a clear territory.

The old hawthorn didn't have any nests but another old favourite nest hole was occupied by a nuthatch family this year, just frustratingly high up.

It was satisfying a few weeks later to see a couple of the youngsters still in the vicinity, their heads more rounded than that of the adults, but otherwise the classic nuthatch poses were all there.

A couple of friends were passing through and I feared I would have nothing to show them, but in the end we stumbled across a pair of pied flycatchers establishing a territory,

and had a visit from a handsome male redstart snapped handheld through a hide window.

In the field I was pleased to see bluebells around when we were snapping the pied flycatchers, but whilst I like the flower stems with enough shape to show as bluebells I'm not sure if the blue blobs in the background detract rather than add value.

I did find one other male pied flycatcher trying to attract a female to a nest hole, but it was right at a busy public car park, and in the end I didn't get to revisit.

As for the wood warblers, again my 'traditional' sites seemed to be vacant, but more of that next time …...

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