March 6th – New Forest   Leave a comment

Whilst listening to the beautiful song of a Woodlark today I remembered that I have been asked why I don’t add sound recordings of birds to my blog. In practice I don’t have any decent sound recording equipment and you have pay for an upgrade to upload sound files, but I see now harm in providing an external link. The Xeno-Canto site has recordings of 75% of the world’s birds. For example this Woodlark song at  browse.php?query=wood+lark&species_nr=

On a beautiful spring morning I set off for Acres Down in the New Forest in the hope of finding a Goshawk. This magnificent, yet secretive raptor has been making a come back the UK and numbers are increasing in the New Forest, although it remains rare in Dorset. Acres Down is a wonderful spot with an almost 270 degree view over the surrounding woodland and apart from a distant tower near Sway and the occasional plane overhead, no human artifacts visible.

Acres Down, the best raptor view-point in the New Forest

 

It is possible to see and identify raptors several miles away from this point.

 

At least a dozen Buzzards were seen along with a single Sparrowhawk, but I wasn’t there long before a female Goshawk spiraled up and displayed above the forest before folding her wings and diving almost vertically into the canopy. Not only is the female much larger than the former but performs most of the display and defence of the territory. I knew about the former, but have only just learned about the latter. That’s one of the great things about birding, you learn something new almost every day.

I later met Jackie Hull and her TwO Owls birding group, not long after they had departed, a first year (brown) Goshawk flew high over the wood and was joined by two adults, presumably defending their territory. The female showed particularly well, puffing out the white undertail coverts and sky diving over the forest. I beleive Jackie’s group caught up with at least one Gos on the walk back.

 

Goshawks are much larger than Sparrowhawks with deeper chests, longer more rounded tails, broader based wings with protruding secondaries and a dark cap. Photographed in Armenia in May 2010.

 

 

Later I visited a couple of sites in the hope that I might catch up with this winter’s bogey bird, the Brambling and after checking a few Chaffinch flocks I found three Bramblings near to Bolderwood car park. Now at last I have caught up with all the regularly wintering birds in the area.

 

A female Brambling, female Chaffinch and on the right, a male Brambling, Bolderwood.

 

A report of a Sand Martin at Blashford Lakes showed that Spring had truly sprung. Hoping to see my first trans-Saharan migrant of the year, I headed for Ibsley Water but the Sand Martin had long gone. I did see a summer plumaged Black-necked Grebe along with the usual ducks and Great Crested and Little Grebes.

 

Ibsley Water, most waterfowl were on the far side.

 

Regular in small numbers on the Dorset coast, it was a real treat to see a summer plumaged bird, even if it was at some distance. Photo from the internet.

 

 

Posted March 7, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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