Thornbury

Forest of Dean in the evening

Evening visit to the Forest of Dean June 17th 2019.
Four members set out to drive to the stone works near Parkend. There were the usual great tits, blue tits, chaffinches and a nuthatch on the feeders. A spotted wood pecker flew from the feeders to a nearby tree giving us good views. Several grey wagtails were about, some perching high on the posts others feeding in the overflow stream. There seemed to be mature adults and younger less colourful ones, also pied wagtails. Cannop Pond had many female mandarin ducks and a few males with their distinctive red ruff. Plenty of mallards and tufted ducks busy floating about. Surprisingly few swallows, given the plentiful insects. We walked on to the further pond listening to the bird song on a tranquil evening. Here were more very argumentative coots, mallards, tufted ducks, a couple of swans and a lone little grebe.
We moved on to the next car park as the light started to fade. A stonechat perched conspicuously on the scrub giving us excellent views. Then a cuckoo, singing loudly flew overhead and perched on top of a tree giving us a magnificent sight of its peculiar stance and its continuous loud calling. We waited for dusk catching sight of a distant boar rooting among the undergrowth. Then a faint churring could be heard as well as the cuckoo. Finally the nightjars started flying with their distinctive straight wings, and an almost clapping sound as they flapped their wings. Several times we saw two flying at once, and their sounds came from several different directions so there must be a healthy number there. We left as the midges started biting and the bats swooped around us.
Birds seen
Lesser black backed gull grey wagtail pied wagtail
Mallard mandarin duck coot
Great spotted woodpecker great tit blue tit
Chaffinch tufted duck blackbird
Nuthatch Mute swan greylag goose
Crow little grebe swallow
Swift wood pigeon stonechat
Cuckoo nightjar song thrush
24 species