Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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30 January 2018

Foxes Bridge Colliery Tip

Grid Ref SO638136


It was a beautiful sunny day although there had been a frost and it was a bit nippy! We continued widening the butterfly corridor up the track following the FC Rangers who were chain sawing the trees ahead of us.

There was an interesting film of the Great Grey Shrike (also known as the butcher bird) which comes every year to Crabtree Hill (above Foxes Bridge Colliery site) on BBC2 WinterWatch programme in the evening. The great grey shrike is the largest of the European shrikes. Small numbers come to the UK in autumn and spend the winter here. They are very territorial so you're unlikely to see more than one at once. Shrikes are often 'mobbed' by other birds which recognise them as dangerous predators. Keep an eye out for a medium-sized, long-tailed bird sitting at the top of a tree. The black mask and grey plumage are distinctive.

They hunt beetles and other insects, small mammals and birds. Food is often stored in a 'larder' by impaling it on a thorn!

This was the first of five fires lit up along the track.

The team were split up into small groups.







Another fire to burn down the extensive amount of brush from the cut trees





We had a visit from the members of the Forest of Dean RSPB group. They were working on the top of the Foxes Bridge Colliery slag heap which is fairly level. They removed many small birch there to provide a flat open area for ground nesting birds such as the Woodlark.