RBA done us proud and put out a very early message at 4.05am on Saturday to confirm that the very rare Mamora Warbler was still present in Gwent, South Wales. By 5.15am Shaun had picked me up and via Barking, for Hawky, we arrived at Bradders to switch motors and make our way to the land of our fathers. Being early for once the usually horrendous M25 and M4 were plain sailing. We arrived just over 2.5 hours later to find an already large gathering of birders. We were lucky to find the very smart, vocal bird on show on a dry stone wall. Long and clear views were had from the off with the bird holding territory, singing loudly and generally showing off to all the very pleased tourists who had travelled to see it. The lovely location was made even better with a back drop of up to 5 Whinchat, 2 Tree Pipits, a couple of passing Ravens and a distant calling Cuckoo. Again heat haze proved the undoing of my digi-scoping efforts as you can see. After an hour or so we decided to move on and headed to the Nags Head RSPB reserve for a leisurely walk around the Forest of Dean. Great views were had of 4 Pied Flycatchers (2 male), a Spot Fly, Wood Warbler and Nuthatch. A pair of Redstarts very briefly crossed our paths but could not be relocated.
A lunch time pint and a ploughmans was our next quarry. We put Dave's Best Pub Guide to the test and opted for The Ostrich, just 10 minutes away. All I can say is wow! A cold pint washed down an amazing ploughmans, that included local cheeses and home made chutney. 10/10 from me!
We set off home mid afternoon, via Gloucester and Cheltenham to Oxford and the M40. We smashed our Red kite count on the M40 wit at least 36 birds counted!
All in all it was another great day, great tick, great lunch and great company. Nice one lads! Thanks to Hawky for Pied Fly and Wood Warbler pics.