Welcome to my guide to bird watching in the Forest of Dean, an area with a good choice of habitats to watch British birds and the opportunity to see something special.
To wet your tweeting appetite you have the chance of seeing or photographing the following in the Forest Of Dean or the extended county of Gloucestershire
- Nesting area of the Peregrine Falcons at Symonds Yat Rock
- Wildfowl at Slimbridge wetlands trust, just across the River from the Forest of Dean
- Kingfishers and heron can be seen when walking the banks of the River Wye.
Bird Watching In The Forest Of Dean
Nagshead is a nature reserve located not far from Parkend in the heart of the forest. This is a great place to see a variety of species in their natural habitat throughout the seasons.
The site includes ample car parking, toilets, a visitor centre and viewing points or hides to help observation. The site has a visitor centre that is open at the weekend from Easter until September. The site is open from dawn until dusk for visitors, the entrance fee is free but donations to the RSPB are very welcome.
Eagle-eyed spotters can see flycatchers and redstarts in the spring months or all three British species of woodpecker in the summer. Autumn at RSPB Nagshead enables you to see nuthatches and the winter brings goshawks and treecreepers. Other more common species hall RSPB Nagshead home too. Some of the stars of the site include;
- Wood Warbler
- Tree Pipit
- Spotted Flycatcher
- Pied Flycatcher
- Lesse Spotted Woodpecker
Cannop ponds are home to lots of wildlife including birds of prey, songbirds and wildfowl. specific birds to look out for on the water are pairs of mute swans, mandarin ducks and reed warblers. @aboutglos has spotted buzzards in the trees and flying in the area towards The Sculpture Trail near to the Speechouse Hotel.
International Centre For Birds Of Prey
For anyone interested in seeing birds of prey and learning more about them the international centre for birds of prey is the pace to visit. A place where the highlight is the fling demonstrations of many birds of prey. For more about the Eagles, Falcons and Owls visit their website.
The Stenders Quarry Nature Reserve is a 7-acre Site of Special Scientific Interest. The site is designated as an SSSI for its important geological features, although there is a diverse selection of plants and animals in the reserve.
For Bird watchers, there are ample opportunities to observe the Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest and many other common birds. The reserve is also home to a variety of snails and butterflies including the Marbled White Butterfly.
The Falconry School
The Falconry School in Gloucestershire is a small establishment dedicated to showing best practices in how to care for, handle and fly birds of prey. The school has a great reputation, so much so that students have come from all over the world to learn about the training and management of birds of prey.