12th May – New Forest birding   Leave a comment


 On the 12th May, Margaret and I spent the morning in the New Forest , followed by a brief visit to Coward’s Marsh at Christchurch on the way back.



We first visited the raptor watch point at Acre’s Down. There is a panoramic view over the forest and indeed this is the only spot I know in our area where no human artifacts are visible.


It didn’t take long until our target, a Goshawk was seen. This large bird, presumably a female was seen circling over the forest.



A dreadful, greatly enlarged image, but one that shows several Goshawk ID features: the deep chest, bulging secondaries, a long tail with a wide base and rounded tip (square tip in Sparrowhawk)



Goshawks soar on flat wings, unlike similarly sized Buzzards. The white undertail coverts can even spread out and be visible on the upper tail as can be just  seen on this shot.


The bird drifted towards us and entered a blue patch of sky. The prominent white supercilium can just be seen on this picture.


Nearby a Wood Warbler was in song. This Phylloscopus warbler is much rarer than than either Willow Warbler or Chiffchaff and in our area is confined to mature beech woodland in the New Forest.


Later we headed for Coward’s Marsh near Christchurch. Close to the viewing spot newly fledged Starlings were being fed by their parents.


They were pretty distant, but we soon located the pair of Glossy Ibis that had spent the last few days on the banks of the River Avon. Once a mega-rarity in the UK, increased numbers breeding in Spain has led to a small numbers occurring each autumn, although spring records are still pretty unusual.


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