I first became interested in watching birds when we visited Lake Vrnwy in Wales, watching the frenzied feeding from the hide and feeling an immense sense of calm. We lived in the South East of England at the time and although we put out feeders, enjoying watching them with that same sense of calm, we did somewhat lack the variety we had seen in Wales seeing mostly Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Nuthatches and Starlings. We did, however, have a small tree in front garden in front of the living room window in which we placed a bird box. In time, the bird box became home to nesting Blue Tits and one day, as I was sitting in front of the window, writing, I noticed that the new born Blue Tits were starting to fledge. I sat, mesmerised, until they had finished, not getting any work done. The following year I was present, yet again, on the day a new batch of young Blue Tits fledged. It was an enormous privilege to have seen that twice, watching the parents gently encourage the young out, disappearing briefly to return with food as they did so, and suffice to say I became hooked.
Shortly after this we moved to the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, put out the feeders and were delighted to see such a variety of birds. Along with the Coal Tits, Blue Tits and Nuthatches we have Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Marsh Tits, Red Polls, Sparrows to name some of the regular visitors. We have huge flocks of my favourite Long-Tailed Tits (as long as we put out the right food!). I have seen an elusive Hawfinch. We also have many birds of Prey: Sparrow Hawks, Buzzards, Owls and the beautiful Red Kite often flying over our land. Along with these we have game birds such as Partridge and Pheasant.
Greenfinch in flight, one of my faves!
I am now an avid bird identifier and photographer and I have to say, living amongst so many trees in such a lovely, rural spot this has become a great pleasure. If you are into watching and photographing birds the Forest of Dean is a great place in which to do it. We are fortunate enough to live here. We are just glad that, for fellow bird lovers, we are now able to share.