Hawfinch, Parkend Church


Yup, just one, after about an hour of looking in the vicinity of this hotspot in the Forest of Dean. The sighting was hardly fab, the bird perching way up on top of a conifer. At first, it could have been a chaffinch, its wing bar being the only obvious field mark. Then the bird turned straight on to me and the huge pale face, i.e. its bill really, made it all hawfinch.

I tried to get closer and steady myself on a tree branch but in the time it took, the bird had flown. Ah well, now that I know where to go, there will be other and better views. Apparently, the whole area, including RSPB Nagshead, is likely for them, as well as goshawks. That’s good: I failed utterly to find New Fancy View.

Although year bird 126, the hawfinch, rather more amazingly, took my Gloucestershire list to 133. From 129. What else had I found at Parkend to do this? A brambling, two crossbills and a flock of siskins. Just how siskins have evaded that list so long is a mystery. Mind you, they evaded Somerset pretty long too. Does that say something about this region?

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