Hunt for Hawfinches in Robin Hood country
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