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22nd March 2020 – Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

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At the end of the first week of self-isolating due to the Covid-19 pandemic it was a sure delight to get out and about today. I have kept myself busy during the week doing jobs in and around the house but I have felt hemmed in (not surprisingly) and the lack of social contact was beginning to have an effect on my moral.

We were pleased to hear earlier in the week that the National Trust was keeping its outdoor spaces open but as people went there in their droves social distancing was clearly not possible and this decision was revoked. So we decided to give the Forest of Dean a go. We have been many times to the RSPB Reserve at Nags Head in the past and  never seen many people. Fortunately again today there were very few people around and we could keep a good distance from them.

The aim of our sortie was to get some exercise and not particularly to do bird watching, which was just as well as we didn’t see many birds at all (we avoided the bird hides even if they had been open). It was a lovely sunny day and the beauty of the forest certainly lifted our spirit.

Although we didn’t get many sightings of birds we did have a wonderful moment when a bat flitted around above us. A managed one rather poor shot which might enable anyone who knows about these things to identify it. – a pipistrelle perhaps?

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Right at the beginning of our walk a lone greylag goose mystically appeared from nowhere.

DSC04364Greylag goose

There were a few blackbirds, some coal tits and frequent noisy robins.  We also heard woodpeckers, probably Great Spotted although Lesser Spotted are found here.

DSC04407Blackbird

DSC04460Coal tit

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