After ALOT of rainy days, the forecast for Saturday was dry, at least for some of the day so a birding friend and I decided to take a trip across the River Severn to Wales. Well, it's not quite Wales, the Forest of Dean is still in England, but it feels like you're in Wales. There are two bridges spanning the Severn over to Wales and the photo below is a view of the newer one.
The title of this post is 'birding' the Forest of Dean, but I can't say we were too serious about it. For a start we didn't get up at the crack of dawn and we spent more time nattering than birding, but it was still great to be out in some dry weather and in a beautiful part of the country. The woodland below is an RSPB reserve called Nagshead. We were there to try and see Lesser-spotted Woodpecker (no chance) and Firecrest (little chance). Needless to say, we were unsuccessful (L S Woodpecker is one of the most difficult birds to see in Britain, in my humble opinion). We had a lovely walk here full of the song of the more common woodland birds.
As always, I had to stop and take a photo when I noticed this lovely group of moss, lichen and fungi together.
The sheep in the Forest of Dean are left to wander anywhere which makes for careful driving, specially at this time of year with young lambs about. This one was safely off the road enjoying it's breakfast!
One of our target species for the day was Mandarin Duck. These beautiful ducks were originally from east Asia. A feral population thrives here in the Forest.
The male is simply stunning. A true courtier of the water!
The female is beautiful in a softer more graceful way.
I'd go out with him if I wasn't already taken! (-: