Soudley Ponds; Forest of Dean

Soudley ponds are small and user friendly.

There is a resident White Muscovy Duck  quite ugly but probably quite tasty if cooked slowly. Also a large group of Mallards or Mallard/Farm yard style ducks. These ducks are blessed by being fed with bird seed, corn and a few bits of sunflower and peanuts ( ie cheap bird seed) but a good staple for the ducks.

Then there is a good population of moorhens.

Are these two brothers? Maybe sisters, they do seem deep in conversation.

A few Little Grebes, one of my favourite water birds.

Grey Wagtails were flitting in and out.

The icing on the cake was a Kingfisher.



Two groups of grazing animals have been introduced onto an area of the Forest of Dean to maintain the heath land habitat.

They also add to the photographic interest of this region. Already we have Wild Boar, Roe Deer, Fallow Deer and Muntjac Deer. Recently Beavers were released and maybe soon Pine Martens. Oh yes and Otters and Polecats and various small stuff.

Forest of Dean in February

A day out in the Forest of Dean, there are so many choices of where to go but I opted for Worsgreen and Crabtree Hill. Just as well I took my wellies as it was thick mud.

However it was warm and occasionally sunny. This photo of the edge of Worsgreen lake is a composite of 4 photos using the focus stacking technique on photo shop plus which I recently invested in.fod-feb6

Lots of people about as it is half term, so the chances of wild boar or deer were reduced. I did see two fallow deer a long way off but they were fairly well into the trees when I first saw them and then never came out, at least not whilst I was watching and waiting.

I did see the Great grey shrike, in the distance, also distant views of a Sparrow hawk, Goshawk and a couple of Buzzards.  On the lake there were a couple of Goosanders a pair of Teal and the usual Mallards Coots Swans etc.

I was hoping for some Siskins or Redpolls but no luck. I did see a group of about 6 Reed Buntings.fod-feb8

There were also several Song Thrushes giving it their all. This one was on the ground presumably hunting for its dinner.fod-feb9

Finally on the way home I popped into Cannop  and  sat for half an hour with the truck window open and observed the visitors to the bird table, taking a few photos along the way. It was quite busy (birds that is not people) and at one point it was almost like Heathrow with the birds  lining up to land.fod-feb1

Most of the usual gang were on display, here are a few… Great Tit.








Hedge Sparrow







Marsh Tit….. well I assume Marsh, can you see a spot on the base of its beak?  Maybe, just.fod-feb3fod-feb2






And that was it,   nothing spectacular but a nice day with several conversations with other birders, walkers and just general folk.

Forest of Dean, Wild Boar

These wild boar are not quite the real deal, having a bit of pig in their genes, but they are still nice to see and when they fix you with a glare it is still a little bit intimidating.wild-boar1

I spotted this group whilst travelling back from taking some photos of  what remains of Lightmoor colliery. So I parked up at the next available roadside space, and then skirted back to where I had seen them.  Initially they did not see me but then I was spotted, however they did not shoot off and I spent about an hour photographing them. They occasionally gave me a bit of a stare, but were not that bothered.wild-boar2

Eventually the rain got the better of me, the boar were also looking quite wet and dejected so I retreated to the warmth of my truck.

Clouded agaric ( Clitocybe nebularis)

Clitocybe nebularis or Lepista nebularis, commonly known as the clouded agaric or cloud funnel. clitocybe3

Definitely a funnel…..I cant recall having seen this fungus before. It is quite large ( 8/10 cm diameter) and seems to grow in a circle.clitocybe2

These were growing close to a car park in the woods near Bigswier in the Wye valley. I spotted them on my way back from a visit to Ninewells wood / Trellech . It was late in the afternoon and the light was low . so that my excuse for the photo quality.clitocybe1