A few notes from Rob regarding the Goshawk ID morning that GRMG hosted this morning, in preparation for the county-wide Goshawk survey…
The morning looked like it could be a washout when the group of a dozen or so set off to the top of New Fancy viewpoint.
Everyone introduced themselves and set out their intended surveying projects for the coming season, as the weather failed to cooperate with our best laid plans.
Eventually, there was a slight relenting of the drizzle and overcast conditions and the first bird spotted was a lone Buzzard struggling against a stiff breeze. It did not stay up for too long before finding refuge in the woods.
There was a few more scant views of Buzzards and the briefest sightings of a Goshawk but then, at last, we caught good view of a large female Goshawk. She was patrolling above her wood, riding the air currents along the ridge before finally returning to her original starting point. Proceeding to power over the woods in front of us, she showed her power and grace with deep wingbeats. On the upstroke of the wingbeat, she flashed white despite the low light conditions, and even the under tail coverts were obvious with a side on view. I think everyone enjoyed the show as short lived as it was.
A high soaring male also gave us good views of the extended wings, showing the spitfire wing profile (to my eye at least) and a further bird was sighted and followed at distance where the deep chest and deep wing beats were obvious, ruling out Sparrowhawk.
Despite the poor conditions, I felt it was very productive morning and had the impression everyone was enthused and better informed for the season ahead. It was great to see so many more goshawk enthusiasts on such an unpromising morning.