Recent reports of several Bignoses viewable from Parkend churchyard lured me into darkest Gloucestershire. As soon as I had the scope up, the first Hawfinch was visible in a treetop. Following the path down to Parkend Beeches, I realised that approx 8 of them were present, including 3 in my bins together. After a while, I headed to New Fancy View, where I was astonished not to be cold!
It was mild, and completely calm. An hour and a half later I had only seen a few Siskins and about 6 flypast Crossbills. It appeared to be too calm for raptors (no sun to create thermals).
A quick trip to Brierley produced no interesting finches, but a pair of Marsh Tits were welcome. At Cannop Upper Pond, a pair of Redpolls, many Treecreepers, and a Willow Tit about 30 yards downstream from the bridge were soon found.
Stopping the car for a moment by Cannop Lower Pond revealed a pair of Mandarins, the male looking ridiculous (as they usually do!).
I returned to New Fancy View, and was pleased to feel a slight breeze. Sure enough, a pair of Buzzards appeared and a few minutes later, a Goshawk showed, but fairly distantly. It was soon joined by a second, smaller bird, presumably a male. They soared together, and then tumbled, locking talons briefly. Nice!
After the excitement had died down, a stunning male Crossbill showed well below the platform until I focussed the camera.... A Hawfinch flew over, calling.
I popped back to Parkend, and immediately found 5 Hawfinches in view. 3 of them stayed long enough for some poor photos to be taken.