Welcome to my guide to bird watching in Gloucestershire, an area with a good choice of habitats to watch British birds and the opportunity to see some rare species.
To wet your spotting appetite you have the chance of seeing or photographing the following in Gloucestershire of the Forest of Dean.
- Nesting area of the Peregrine Falcons at Symonds Yat Rock
- Wildfowl at Slimbridge wetlands trust who have a visitor centre and lots of migratory birds.
- Kingfishers and heron can be seen when walking the banks of the local rivers.
- Woodpeckers at RSPB Nagshead
Bird Watching Locations
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
Gloucestershire Visitor Centres
Places to visit to learn about birds including sanctuarys for birds of prey as well as many other conservation sites.
The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge is a very educational place to visit to learn about a variety of birds. The reserve is home to a variety of migratory birds including species of duck, geese and swans. WWT Slimbridge is located in a beautiful location between the Severn Estuary and Gloucester-Sharpness Canal.
The site is a great place to visit for the family of those very interested in wildlife and has a great focus on education. You can get up close with some fo the resident birds and even feed some. The habitat is beautiful and they even have a section you can paddle into the reeds to be at one with nature.
The centre is ever-changing as new species arrive and leave throughout the seasons. Some of the highlights of visiting are;
- The arrival of sand martins and swallows in March.
- Common cranes settle down to nest in March
- The arrival of cuckoos in April
- Kingfishers nesting and laying eggs in April, the site has a dedicated hide to observe a kingfisher if lucky.
- Migrating birds including ruff and a variety of sandpiper species migrate here in the summer.
- In August teal start arriving for winter as well as many other arrivals.
- In the winter at dusk, you can observe starlings doing their usual acrobatics over the site.
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.