Posts Tagged ‘Goshawk


Four of a Kind

A surprising heat to the end of the day saw us celebrating on the patio. After all when you’ve had a successful day you’re allowed a drink in the embers of the evening light. Against a background of parachuting Meadow Pipits we talked of the day we’d had.

I forget now which came first the adult Goshawk doing a flyby with its gushing white undertail coverts or the perched Redpoll but it was definitely the juvenile Goshawk that sailed majestically by next. It was when we were commenting the cottage was an ideal place to stay that the adult White-tailed Eagle decided to flash us that tail trailed by its grey stone plumage. Now that’s the way I like to celebrate a day … but what of the day itself?

It started slow. A false alarm as a Red throated Diver stood proud but bore no resemblance to the White-billed we were seeking. A flat calm sea was beneficial. We changed location further along the coast. A Great Northern Diver was a close call but no cigar. Persistence was the key. Eventually we found not one but two White billed Divers and then just as we thought the diver tally was complete a full summer plumage Black throated popped up just beyond the breakers. A perfect day? Well when you add in the flock of 20 Red breasted Mergansers, 7 Slavonian Grebes, 50+ Long tailed Duck and hundreds of dapper summer plumage Razorbills you’d think that would be it. However, we still had time to gather in 47 Whooper Swans and high Northward bound skeins of Pinkfeet before heading home to celebrate!


A miss was a hit

Missing something by just minutes is always pretty galling. Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers had been seen shortly before we got to the site. By the time we got there I could hear nothing of them. Just the distant drumming of a Greater Spotted. However; there was consolation .

Lesser spot would have been the golden ribbon around a suite of Breckland birds on the ‘Breckland Birding Day’ a week or so ago. Some beautiful singing Woodlarks, best ever sightings of displaying Goshawk, crest raising Firecrests, a flock of leaf litter tossing Hawfinch, more Brambling than you could shake a hairy stick at and some of the reddest male Crossbills you have seen in your life! Throw in a bold Water Rail with black faced Siskins and a small flock of Marsh Tits and we had a day that was memorable.

For me however the thing that topped the lot were the two Otters feeding beside us as we waited for the Lesser Spots… beautiful.



Some excellent bird tours in February. Around 6 trips into the Brecks and almost as many into the Broads. The tour on the day of storm Doris was a challenge to say the least, but we still managed a few things of interest. Here’s a compendium of photos of just a few birds we came across during the month.

bewicks-swan crane glaucous-gull goshawk great-grey-shrike hawfinch iceland-gull lesser-spotted-woodpecker mediterranean-gullrough-legged-buzzardsiskinsnow-buntingwaxwingwoodlark



All preperation

At the moment a lot of my time is being put into organising the tours later in the year. However, the day tours around Norfolk are still happening. The fourth, or is it the fifth, visit to the Brecks in south Norfolk this last week probably gave the best prolonged views of Goshawk I’ve had in many years. A female and two males. I hope they breed but as yet I’ve not seen them in ‘full on’ display just cavorting, so to speak. By necessity the photograph below is taken at (great) distance.

Some good views of Great Grey Shrike too this week but again a little distant to photograph.





Things are brighter than you would imagine

On one tour last month we tried to find displaying Goshawk but the weather was wrong. It had forecast bright and showery weather but it was the dullest greyest day you could imagine. If I was a Goshawk the last thing I would want to do is display. We had some good Woodlark though among many other birds and a magnificent display of Winter Aconite. What a wonderful sight to brighten anyone’s day.

Winter Aconite



They don’t call the Lesser spotted Woodpecker ‘Ladderback’ for nothing. This uncommon tiny sparrow sized woodpecker inhabits the very outer branches in the tops of tall trees. Its black and white patterned back – the ladder back – is surprisingly well camouflaged. February and March are good months to find them before the trees ‘leaf up’ and they are still calling as they mark out their territories. As well as Lesser spots … Goshawk, Hawfinch, Firecrest and Woodlark are all possible on a Birdwatching Tour to the south of Norfolk at this time of the year. If you are interested in a day out give me a call or send me a mail.

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Jun 2023


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