Nagshead RSPB Reserve, Forest of Dean. 11th June 2018
Eighteen members of the group set out from the visitors centre on a glorious sunny day. We went to the Dipping pond where there were numerous dragonflies. We tried to identify, chasers (short wide bodies), darters (thin short bodies), hawkers (longer bodies) and damselflies. We were lucky enough to see a nymph emerging onto a leaf.
The woods had plenty of birdsong. We watched a nuthatch fly in and out of a nest box as fast as it could. Further into the woods we saw pied flycatchers, perching on fence posts and then flitting back and forth into the trees, over the bracken, resting briefly and then moving on again. A little later we watched a treecreeper climbing a very tall oak, looking tiny in comparison to the tree’s trunk.
Near the Lower Hide we had splendid views of a pair of redstarts, the male posing on the top of strategically placed poles, and on dead tree branches. After some discussion we decided that there were spotted fly catchers as well as pied. Again they moved swiftly back and forth catching insects to feed their young.
While at the hide three deer approached, two very dark ones, and one caramel coloured. They looked around and then ran off.
We lunched among the old oaks while the birds seemed to be resting. The party split into two the larger group continuing on the long walk to see the heathland and listen for wood warbler, tree pipit and jays. The other group were able to see a family of nuthatches with the parents encouraging the young to find food and then calling them to move on. Another nest box with pied flycatchers meant more views of this delightful bird. At the Campbell Hide we saw a family of blackcaps.
It was a most enjoyable day out with excellent views of these less common woodland birds.
Great Tit Blue Tit Blackbird
Blackcap Crow Buzzard
Thrush Nuthatch Chaffinch
Pied Flycatcher Spotted Flycatcher Treecreeper
Redstart Wood Pigeon Robin
Chiff Chaff ( heard)