Tour At A Glance

Cost:

699.00

Deposit:

100.00

Single Room Supplement:

100.00

Tour Code:

Intermediate with flexible finish times. Avergare 5 miles walking per day

Group Size:

Eight plus Leader

Wood Warbler Garganey Mandarin Great Bittern Pied Flycatcher Little Bittern

The Forest of Dean and Somerset Levels in Spring

Date: 9th - 13th June 2019 [SPACES]
Leaders: Paul Roberts

Introduction

 

 

Bittern

 

This exciting tour covers two highly contrasting and productive areas of habitat; firstly the extensive and varied woodlands of Gloucestershire’s Forest of Dean, followed by the vast marshes of the Somerset Levels, rapidly gaining a reputation as a prime birding destination. The Forest of Dean is characterised by over 110 square kilometres of mixed woodland, one of the surviving ancient woodlands of England. Here the main focus will be a variety of woodland birds, including desirable species such as Pied Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Wood Warbler, Tree Pipit, Hawfinch, Common Crossbill, and Firecrest. The forest is an excellent area for Northern Goshawks, although the main display period is earlier in the spring. Waterbirds may include Mandarin Duck, Dipper and Goosander. Nesting Peregrines should be viewable from the watch point at Symonds Yat, just outside the Forest proper. The Somerset Levels is sparsely populated lowland grazing marsh system holding one of the most important inland wetland landscapes in Britain. An extensive network of recently created reserves in areas formerly dug for peat has developed into a fabulous birding resource. The area holds the largest concentration of breeding Bitterns in Britain, with over thirty booming males now recorded. Recent years have seen rare herons such a Little Bittern, Cattle Egret and Great White Egret breeding; perhaps other exotic species may soon colonise [Night Heron bred in 2017!]? Eurasian Hobbies can be seen hunting over the reed beds, with small numbers still present in early June before they spread out to their breeding areas. Further birds of note include breeding and passage shorebirds, Common Cuckoo, Marsh Harrier and a cacophony of warbler species. For those with a wider wildlife interest, Otter, Red Deer and a range of insect life may add interest to our visit to Somerset. The terrain is mostly easy and you can expect to walk approximately five miles per day on good paths. Your tour leader will be Paul Roberts and you can expect to see approximately 110 species.

 

 

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