Rather excited by spotting a Sparrowhawk in our local park we decided, as it was such an amazing day for February (or indeed any month), that we would go further afield and try to see some other raptors. And so we went in search of peregrine falcons or goshawks at Symonds Yat on the edge of the Forest of Dean. (As I said in an earlier blog the removal of tolls on the Severn Bridge will entice us across the Severn Estuary more and more).
Even at 10 o’clock in the morning it was beautifully sunny and quite warm. However, as we descended towards the Severn Estuary we were suddenly shrouded in fog. It was very foggy as we crossed the bridge but as we drove up through the Wye Valley the fog started to lift and we stopped for a while at Tintern Abbey.
Tintern Abbey in the fog
The River Wye in the fog
The fog began to lift on the River Wye
Yet when we got to Symonds Yat Rock, even at a higher altitude, the woods were totally enveloped in fog. We could see nothing other than very atmospheric woods.
The woods at Symonds Yat Rock
Just as we were leaving Symonds Yat Rock the sun broke through for a moment and we were rewarded with the sight of a small number of coal tits.
Back down in the Wye Valley it was really sunny and we stopped again at Tintern Abbey (indeed it was warm enough to sit outside a café and have an ice cream!). There were a few birds around (robins, dunnock and blue tits) and much to my surprise I spotted a couple of Goosanders fishing in the River Wye.
The remains of Tintern Abbey
We stopped at Aust on the way back to see if we could see short-eared owls but there was nothing to be seen.
Not many birds, and certainly no raptors, but a wonderful day out.