|Mandarin Ducks at Cannop Pond|
|Another Gorgeous Manadarin|
Mandarin ducks are not native to this country, they are native to the far East and first appeared in this particular area in the late 1980's, having escaped into the wild. The Forest is actually the most important place in Britain for them and despite being an invasive species to the UK these beautiful birds don't seem to be causing problems for any of our native species.
We enjoyed around 45 minutes with the Mandarins in cracking conditions, a Mistle Thrush constantly in song throughout our stay and during the visit I also recorded of note: Grey Wagtail, Little Grebe, Nuthatch, Jay and Raven.
|New Fancy Viewpoint!|
During our stay the conditions were ideal, with plenty of fair weather cloud and light winds. It wasn't long before the first Common Buzzard were spotted taking advantage of the odd thermal and not to be outdone, several Raven were also noted. Albeit brief, a Mistle Thrush gave some great views atop a conifer, but of course the main event was the Goshawks and today they did not disappoint. Three birds recorded during our stay, sadly too high and distant for any spectacular photographs but an absolute delight to watch soaring in the breeze.
Although too early for breeding a couple of these stunning Falcons were seen throughout our stay and although the cloud cover had increased the rain held off. Unusually for the daytime a Tawny Owl was clearly heard calling but unfortunately we were unable to locate the bird. A Nuthatch also kept us entertained with several visits to the strategically placed nuts and several sorties to a nearby nest box. Also seen during our stay: At least 6 Fallow Deer, more Mandarin Duck on the river Wye below and the totally unexpected sight of two more Goshawks in display flight!!
|Avocet in the Rain|
Finally, a stop off at Upton Warren NR on route home. Despite the rain beginning to fall it was still an enjoyable end to the day recording of note: (16) Avocet, (11) Curlew, (2) Oystercatcher and a cacophony of noise from the many Black-headed Gulls on site.