It’s July, so it’s time for my annual trips into the New Forest to look for birds of prey.
A hard day’s raptor watching reaped rich reward today, in good conditions. At the first site, Beaulieu Road Station, we had an excellent, if distant view of a Goshawk early on. Other than this highlight, it was all Common Buzzards here plus a single Hobby. Other species included Marsh Tit and Redstart.
At Acres Down we truly struck gold with Goshawks, seeing them three times. One female actually perched on a treetop, allowing us superb views; another soared directly overhead, perfect for identification. As if this wasn’t enough, we also managed to get on to a distant Honey Buzzard – not a great view, but enough to appreciate this bird’s different flight style to a Common Buzzard – flat, not raised wings when soaring, plus lighter, less stiff-winged flight.
Small birds weren’t much in evidence here, apart from Siskins and Bullfinches.
Tomorrow I repeat the trip, and hope for more of the same. If you’ve never been on one, look out for details of my Raptor-watching trips next summer!