European Nightjar

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Nice to see the return of what is probably my favourite bird. So far this year I’ve only seen a few, but will be spending a lot more time with them over the coming weeks, as per every year. This photo was taken last year in the Forest of Dean. The crop was unintentional as it was pitch black and largely down to guesswork as to when to fire the camera.

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Wood Warbler

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Wood Warbler photographed last week in the forest. Wood warblers are long-distance migrants, breeding across Europe and wintering in sub-Saharan Africa. The species is declining in many countries across its breeding range. The UK wood warbler population has declined by 69% since the mid 1990s and has been lost from 50% of its former UK range.

Pied Flycatcher

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A male Pied Flycatcher in the Forest of Dean, photographed while prospecting for a nest site with female. Numerous visits in to a small hollow in a tree trunk seemed to seal the deal, but I haven’t returned to see if they decided to use it or not. Pied Flycatchers practice polygyny, so may well have at least one more mate elsewhere in the forest.

Hawfinch

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Another shot of one of our local speciality species, the Hawfinch. You can often find them in deciduous mature woodland with large trees, they prefer Cherry, Beech and Hornbeam. They are difficult to see, as they are shy and very well hidden in the undergrowth, if you approach with great care, you may see them feeding, but the least movement will disturb them, and off they go. You can see Hawfinches all year round; usually more easily seen outside the breeding season when trees are leafless and they feed more regularly on the ground.