Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Across the River Severn

Last weekend I went with some birding friends to the Forest of Dean, crossing the River Severn over into Wales. We go at this time of year to look for certain birds. Our first stop was at New Fancy View (a prominent view point from which to try and see Goshawk). It was absolutely freezing up there with a strong easterly wind, but we persevered and eventually had good if distant views of a couple of Goshawks. No photos, but I did manage to get a couple of a Raven flying over our heads. You can see its characteristic diamond shaped tail.
Our next stop was a Cannop ponds which is a reliable spot to see Mandarin Ducks. These were introduced to Britain and have bred successfully here in the Forest of Dean. The males are particularly striking even on a dull day like it was on this occasion.
 Even the duller females have a delicate beauty to them.
 Here's a male taking a bath. He was further out so these are heavily cropped.
I managed to catch another pair.......ahem............mating! Again, this was quite far out on the pond so these photos are cropped quite a bit.

Our final stop of the day was at Worgreens a lake with surrounding reeds. We had gone there to try and see Willow Tit (which we didn't manage to see). However, we were surprised and delighted to find 6 Garganey here. It's normally hard to find even one of these birds as they usually skulk in the dense vegetation, but these were right out in the open. I can only presume that they were recent migrants just in. Garganey are summer visitors to Britain. I couldn't get close to them, so this is only a record shot of one of the pairs.
There were also some very tame Greylag Geese here! 
It was a successful if very cold day!


Roy Norris said...

Lovely shots of the Mandarin Jen and it was a good to get a look at the Garganey.

Jenny said...

Hi Roy, thanks. Yes the Garganey were a real bonus! (-:

TonyC said...

Great Post Jen. brings back so many great memories of hours spent with you, Paul and Marcus in the Forest of Dean.

Anonymous said...

An enjoyable variety of images Jen and I really like the Mandarin series :-) Also nice to see the Raven and Garganey :-)

I'm ashamed to say that I know very little about that corner of England and even less about Wales but judging by your observations it is certainly worthy of a visit sometime in the future :-)

Pix Under the Oaks said...

The Mandarin ducks are so very pretty Jen. Glad you had such a great day! Did you get my Twitter address Jenny? Are you on Facebook? I broke down and opened an account. I am still not sure about the whole deal. I can't find your email, waaaah.

Jenny said...

Hi Tony, yes, happy memories! (-: Going there reminds me of Maggie too. I still miss her! )-:

Hi David, I have to admit to knowing very little about your part of the world. As a young girl, my family did have summer holidays up near Driffield. I loved it! (-: I've not been up there since!

Hi Pix, where did you leave your twitter name? I shall try and look you up on FB as well! (-: xx

ShySongbird said...

You did well to brave the inhospitable weather Jenny. The male Mandarins have always looked to me as if they are made out of different coloured pieces of felt ;-) I have never seen one, they don't seem to have reached my area yet. Well done with the Garganey, they are very striking I think. Lovely sequence of Mandarin photos.

Jenny said...

Hi Jan, yes, they're fantastical birds with so many colours! I remember watching a flock of Garganey flying around in Portugal and they were calling. They sound just like a geiger counter! (-:

Tim James said...

That Mandarin does seem to be having enormous fun. Great series – Tim

Jenny said...

Hi Tim, thanks for commenting on my blog. Yes, though he took his time about it! (-: