20 February 2010

Great Expectations.

All the working week, I wanted to see Goshawks. Alas, the weather for this morning in the Forest was - for the majority of Friday - forecast to be lousy. Rain and / or snow showers. I'd resigned myself to not going.

Fortunately the forecast just before I turned in was much better - with the poor weather staying further south. So at 8am this morning I set out.

The weather was glorious. I was first to arrive at New Fancy. Snow in the Forest was enough to make it pretty and sparkly, but not enough to cause any disruption. Just right! The gates were open no problem.

So... after enjoying good views of a Buzzard and a Bullfinch in the car park, I went up to begin my vigil. I only had until about 11am, as I had to get back to watch Everton play Manchester United (which finished 3-1 to the might Blues!!!)

There were no Goshawks on show until about 10.15am, when a male was displaying nicely and being hassled by a juvenille. The two of them engaged in a little airborn ballet (talons touching, I reckon) and then went their separate ways. Lovely views through the scope and I was delighted. Just in time, too!

The time between my arrival (about 8.45am) and the Goshawks showing wasn't wasted either. The birds on show from the viewpoint were overflying Ravens, a couple of Mistle Thrush, a perched Sparrowhawk, year ticks in the manner of Treecreeper and Green Woodpecker (and of course the Goshawks) a good number of Crossbills and - FINALLY, FINALLY - a Hawfinch. It was sat at the top of a nearby tree (Pine? Maybe...? I don't know about trees). A lifer for me.

All in all, a fine morning. Here's a photo of a female Crossbill as it sat at the top of one of the trees near to the viewpoint. It was the only bird that sat close enough, for long enough, to photograph through my scope:

(it's not two birds, it's the same bird)

Some black Sheep feeding at the car park as I departed:

A short video of the scene just before 9am:

94 birds for the year, now.

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