Wednesday 30 December 2015

Cannop Ponds

   Dec 28 2015 Cannop Ponds Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire UK 12c

Due to the lousy weather and family commitments twenty days have passed since my last birding outing. When the sun finally did come out I decided to make my way to nearby Cannop Ponds. On the way I decided to stop off at Parkend where with the help of another birder I spotted four Hawfinch high up in a Beech Tree. The big finches come down occasionally to feed on the Yew tree nuts. A difficult bird to photograph, they never did come down close enough. I also photographed a Sparrowhawk streaking across the sky. A nearby flock of thirty Chaffinch might have been the intended prey.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Also known as 'Dabchick' Little Grebes favour weedy lakes where it dives for food.

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
The most common member of the crake or rail family. As with the Little Grebe UK winter numbers are supplemented by  immigrants from Europe.
Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
The commonest of the UK tits, the Blue Tit is a familiar visitor to bird feeders and will readily use nest boxes put out for them in the garden.

Coal Tit (Periparus ater)
A lifer for me, the Coal Tit made my day. There is a feeder at Canop where visitors bring food.

Great Tit (Parus Major)
The largest of the UK tits, Great Tits often flocks with other tits and is a regular visitor to the bird feeder.

Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
I didn't know this but the cormorant's plumage isn't waterproof and the bird can often be seen in the 'heraldic' pose drying off its wings.

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
The Mandarin duck was introduced into the UK in the early 20th century and now number around 3500 pairs. It was added to the British bird list in 1971.

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
The only bird the Tufted Duck can be confused with is the Scaup (Aythya marina)
With time running out for my family visit I can only hope that the sun will peek out from behind the ever present clouds giving me an opportunity for one more day of birding. Meanwhile I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2016.

"It's never too late to start birding"

John Gordon
BC Canada


  1. Gorgeous shots John I especially love the Mandarin ducks! Happy New Year to you!

  2. Happy New Year to you too, have a great birding year.