Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - BERNARD JONES

THIS SMALL RE­SERVE, not far from the River Wye, is on a steep slope with a rather deep gully. There’s a stream here and the wood has an an­cient ori­gin, so it’s an in­ter­est­ing area. There are oak, Beech, conifers and, of course, Sy­camore. Elm was at­tacked by the elm dis­ease but is re­gen­er­at­ing. Ash is now pre­dom­i­nant but there is now an un­der storey of Hazel, Bram­ble, Elder and hon­ey­suckle. The gully has lots of ferns, too. At the higher end of the slopes, Blue­bell, Prim­rose and Wood Sor­rel abide, which are thought of as an­cient wood­land in­di­ca­tors. The re­serve is a good nest­ing site for var­i­ous wood­land birds and the spring and stream add in­ter­est­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties. Be­cause this is a small re­serve I’d sug­gest as an op­tion to elon­gate the walk down to the path along­side the river or a slightly longer walk to Arthur’s Stone Burial Cham­ber, with more birds and also a bit of his­tory! Also, if you have time, cross over to­wards Bred­war­dine and pick up the trail along the River Wye with a good chance of adding to your list for the day. This is a re­ally good walk with lots of va­ri­ety.

1From the start, walk up the small road westerly past the pub then fol­low the way-marked track north­wards to the re­serve. Go right round the re­serve, check­ing for Great Spot­ted Wood­pecker, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Marsh Tit and Stock Dove. Spar­rowhawk and Kestrel are the most likely birds of prey but al­ways keep an eye over­head for Red Kite and Raven.

2Back now through a mix of open and wooded ar­eas over the hill­side, again an area for birds of prey; Lit­tle Owl is also pos­si­ble. Look for fly­catch­ers and Whin­chat and Whitethroat.

3The more open area should pro­duce Barn Owl and Swal­low and Swift at the appropriate time of year, and Sand Martin usu­ally nest in the River Wye banks. Goldfinch and Siskin wan­der around and Red­wing and Field­fare are pos­si­ble at the appropriate time.

Up and down the hill again check­ing the sky for Buz­zard and pos­si­ble Pere­grine.

4 5Fi­nally, now down to the River Wye where King­fisher, Mal­lard and Grey Heron (there is a heronry nearby) could be seen.

King­fisher Spot­ted Fly­catcher

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