Andrew Bluett was joined by Juliet Bailey, Ingrid & Colin Twissell, Des Marshall, Tiz Butler, Rob Curtis, Daphne Lane and Trish Bluett together with seven guests from Painswick Bird Club for a field meeting of general interest at Woorgreens Lake and Crabtree Hill in the Forest of Dean.
The day started bright but by 11.00am had clouded over and whilst it remained bright it was decidedly chilly with an easterly wind predominating. By the end of the visit conditions had improved somewhat and were reasonably warm in the sunshine but still required the wearing of fleeces!
The walk commenced from the start point near Kensley Lodge, led towards Woorgreens Lake and around the south and east sides of the lake, then to the Forestry road along the south side of Crabtree Hill. Taking the main track we visited the heathland on the top of the ridge to view the landscape then returned to Kensley Lodge and the “Cathedral Window” before going back to the start point.
The cold ambient temperature meant few insects and no reptiles other than a decomposing Toad or Frog in one of the drainage ditches but birdlife was plentiful. Nuthatch and Blue & Great Tits were close to the car park in the Oak woodland and on the lake were Canada and Greylag Geese, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Mandarin, Little Grebe, Lesser Black Backed Gulls, Heron, Coot and Moorhen. A female Reed Bunting was seen in the sedges and reeds, Willow Warbler, Chiff Chaff and Blackcap were all singing. Overhead and in the Alder trees Siskins and Redpoll were seen and heard and Swallows were hawking for insects over the water.
On Crabtree Hill several Tree Pipits were singing rather half-heartedly, Linnets were in evidence, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen/heard briefly. Other birds noted were Chaffinch, Blackbird, Goldcrest, Carrion Crow, Robin, Wren, Song Thrush, Tree Creeper, Jay, Wood Pigeon, Coal Tit and Buzzard.
Butterflies were represented by Green Veined White, Orange Tip and Speckled Wood.
Viewing across Woorgreens Lake