A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

Monday, 23 March 2015

Clocaenog Forest Birding

A trip out to Clocaenog Forest to look for displaying Goshawks on Sunday drew a blank, with just several Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk taking to the skies raptor-wise. However, the forest was absolutely teeming with Siskins – they were everywhere! Calling and flitting from tree to tree, as well as providing a show with their beautiful display flight, these small bright yellow wonders seemed to be dripping off the branches wherever we turned to look!  Great to see after not coming across any so far this year on my travels!

We also stumbled upon a small flock of Crossbills (our other target at Clocaenog) perched happily in one of the trees at the edge of a windy track, the first I’ve seen in over 2 years! It was good to see that Crossbills are still around in the forest, although they were slightly away from the more dense stands of trees as I would have expected and instead favouring an area surrounded mainly by fields.
Common Crossbill, Clocaenog

Common Crossbill, Clocaenog

Common Crossbill, Clocaenog
Record shots of the Crossbills
Further up the track we also stumbled across a really productive section with a real abundance of finches – masses of food lining the trees by the side of the track, coupled with a plentiful water supply in the form of puddles and ditches lining the road had caused them to congregate in here. Large numbers of Chaffinches, Goldfinches, and Siskins all flitted about, with a handful of Lesser Redpolls (my first of the year – seemingly scarcer than usual) a solitary Greenfinch and two cracking summer plumaged Bramblings mixed in – a great spot by Alex just moments after we had exclaimed that all we needed now was to have some Bramblings! It was great to see the finches in such good numbers, and I was especially pleased to come across the Bramblings – a bird I seem to have trouble catching up with in recent years with just the odd one annually. With none coming to the garden anymore, and a distinct lack of birds at my previous hot spot in Northwich, this looks to be a really promising location. Definitely a site to revisit in future years! 

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