A day in the Forest of Dean

On 24th February, and as the weather forecast was favourable, we decided to visit the Forest of Dean to see if any adders were out basking in the sunshine. Even though late February is early, we had seen them out at the same time in 2011, but we were unlucky, and didn’t see any. Even so, the morning at New Fancy, gave us splendid views of Goshawk, with one of the three sighted flying towards us at the Viewpoint so that the distinguishing features were clearly visible, even through binoculars! The best views we have ever had – a wonderful sight!

The afternoon took us to the new ponds at Laymoor Quag to look for frogspawn and any frog activity. We approached one of the ponds and could hear frogs croaking, but on our approach they all disappeared. We sat very quietly on a couple of convenient tree-stumps to await events, and counted 25 clumps of spawn; and after quite a while one frog appeared, then another, and another, until there were 35 blue-throated males purring and chasing one another around the pond. It was an absolutely magical sight, just sitting and watching them, and made one glad to be alive!

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