During the past week or so, Goshawks have been seen displaying at several localities in the north of England. A four-hour watch this morning at one of these in an upland valley provided two sightings (plus another possible at extreme distance). One sighting was very brief but the other continued over a five minute period.
This was of what appeared to be a male which drifted in from the north soaring and gliding high above the woods on one side of the valley before passing almost overhead at considerable height and then returning in the direction from which it had come. The rounded ends and wide base to its tail and the bird’s much larger size than a Sparrowhawk was clearly seen as it flew with a few leisurely intermittent wing beats between gliding. Due to distance, the bird appeared only as a speck in the camera viewfinder and so the resulting photograph provides no more than a record shot. During the watch there were also many sightings of Buzzards, Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk whilst a Peregrine also put in a very distant appearance. Many Meadow Pipits seemed to be passing through and there was also a good view of a Stonechat by the stream. There were up to ten people watching the raptors for much of the time and these additional pairs of eyes ensured that little was missed. Allen’s presence, with his sharp-eyed and exceptional ability to pick out distant birds, was a great asset.
A return on the following day (27th) drew a blank other than several Kestrels and good views of the circling Buzzard (below).