The Forest usually plays host to at least one over-wintering Great Grey Shrike. I haven’t spend any time photographing them this year so far – this shot is a couple of years old, but the same individual is most likely the same bird on that territory today.
I took this photo last winter. Since then the bird has flown off to Scandinavia, hopefully bred, and returned to over-winter in the same place as last year. I found it on its return, which reminded me I really ought to post this photo!
This Shrike is one of two that have over-wintered in separate areas in the Forest of Dean. I’ve seen both on many occasions, but this was the first occasion I’ve managed to get decent photos. If only the Two-barred Crossbills would be so accommodating…
There’s been some great birds in the Forest of Dean recently, but they’ve not been the easiest to find, for me at least!
A Great Grey Shrike was found in the vicinity of Woorgreen Lake. At the same time, a flock of Two-barred Crossbills was in the area too. The latter in particular was bringing in hordes of birdwatchers from far and wide. Two or three searches proved fruitless for me, largely because I didn’t concentrate on either of them, instead flitting between the two, only to be repeatedly told “if only you’d been here 5 minutes ago”. Eventually I saw the Shrike (more accurately, friend Simon spotted it first), and have seen it on several days since.
When walking the dog I decided not to keep inflicting searching for birds on her, and took her elsewhere, only to chance upon another Great Grey Shrike near to Cannop Ponds. Dog in tow, all I had was a pocket camera… With a Shrike also showing up near New Fancy and Staple Edge, it still remains unclear how many are/were in the forest, although it seems clear there are at least two individuals.
The Two-barred Crossbills remained elusive though. Only when they left the Woorgreen area did I catch up with them, yesterday near Trafalgar House, and today nearer to Brierley and the A4136. On both occasions they were mingling with a flock of Common Crossbills. The photos were terrible at best, but I was pleased to see them at last.
The occasional Hawfinch has been a nice bonus – this one near Woorgreen…