Hunt for Hawfinches in Robin Hood coun­try

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - PAUL BROOK

SHER­WOOD FOR­EST IS fa­mous as the hid­ing place of leg­endary outlaw Robin Hood. To­day, this part of Not­ting­hamshire is home to some­thing equally elu­sive – the Hawfinch – and Rufford is one of the best places for you to try and track one down. Once part of a 12th Cen­tury Cis­ter­cian abbey, and then a coun­try house es­tate, Rufford’s coun­try house and grounds were designated a coun­try park in 1969, and to­day the park at­tracts about 450,000 visitors an­nu­ally. The wood­land, lake and gar­dens mean there’s a good mix of wood­land and wa­ter birds, in­clud­ing Goosander, Great Crested Grebe King­fisher, Marsh Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Siskin, Great Spot­ted Wood­pecker and, if you’re very lucky, Lesser Spot­ted Wood­pecker. And while you’re walk­ing round the lake in spring and sum­mer, look for a glimpse of a Hobby. The star bird, though, is the Hawfinch. The most likely place to spot one is on Lime Tree Av­enue, next to the car park.

TOP TIP Visit early on a win­ter’s morn­ing for the best chance of see­ing Hawfinches


Great Spot­ted Wood­pecker

Great Crested Grebe


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