I hope you all had a great Christmas and had a good rest before starting up your engines again.
As for the wildlife, they have had no time off and lots of rare birds have been darting around this Christmas. The week kicked off with over 800 pink footed geese that flew over Budby South Forest on migration between feeding sites.
Pink Footed Geese spend their winters in the UK to enjoy our warmer climate compared to their summer grounds in Iceland. They are occasionally seen flying over Nottinghamshire but not in these huge numbers so that was really amazing to see. There could be more on the way so keep an eye on the skies!
The week continued with what can only be described as one of the iconic bits of winter birdwatching. The bold coloured brambling! This beautiful member of the finch family can been seen in the UK during the winter hanging around with other finches just like this one is doing. This bird has been seen with a flock of chaffinches on the fence line at the entrance to Budby South Forest. Bramblings look similar to Chaffinches except they have a white rump, males have a black head but females have a brown head. This one (photo below) is a male but other bramblings shouldn’t be far away so hopefully a female will turn up.
Back on the ground there is some fantastic fungi in Sherwood Forest at the moment. One of the species is jelly ear. It’s growing in abundance on many trees next to the path that takes you through the old visitor centre car park. The species can be found worldwide and can be found on many different tree species. Most of the time it’s found on elder just like the ones in Sherwood!
To wrap up this spectacular week I give you the stonechat. A pair of these truly stunning birds have decided to spend their winter on Budby. They move around a lot so they can be hard to track down but its always worth it when you do. Keep an eye on the tops of heather stems as they like to perch out in the open.
Let us know what you see!
Remember to fill in the recent sightings book in the Visitor Centre. Leave your comments on our Facebook page and tag us in your Tweets on Twitter if you have any wildlife sightings or identification queries.