I am a novice to birding and have become interested since walking Frank our dog, a cross Flat Coat / Springer around Hastings Country Park and the surrounding area, I realised the little brown birds weren't just sparrows.
After a week of heavy rain finally on the 1st March the sun came out but the wind has been in the North East which has meant it has been bitterly cold but the ground has dried well except for the flood water over the marshes.
On Sunday 7th 9 of us met up in the New Forest in search of the Goshawk, although found in Sussex, here is a place where there is almost a quarantee but only at this time of year when they are displaying their courtship.
Setting off from the car park leaving the Gold Crests, Blue, Great and Coal Tits to their breakfast we set off and after an hour or so walking around Acres Down we had found Crossbills and Siskins.
Settling down on the vantage point over looking the conifers several other birders joined us in the wait. After 20 -30 minutes a couple of Common Buzzards showed, a good sign as this meant the air is warming up after the heavy frost but it wasn't untill another 30 minutes had passed before in the distance a female Goshawk was seen, to the unexperienced it looked like another buzzard however the wing beat and movement was different and the bird looked like a large Sparrowhawk with an extended tail. All sorted we have what we came for and after another 20 minutes we set off back to the car park when out of the trees right in front of us another female flew out into the open then headed above the conifers only to be joined by a male and the spiralling flight higher and higher began and after 5 minutes were then out of sight - fantastic who would have thought we would have a sight like that. Paul has done his magic again and the pressure is off him.
Next stop was at an old wood in search of the LSW this was not to be but there were plenty of birds Tits of all kinds Chaffinches a couple of Bramblings and a couple of Treecreepers plus a Greater Spotted Woodpecker a stop at the Deer Park for lunch and then a walk over a sheltered heath but very little showed due to the strong cold easterly winds but we did find in the nearbye wood another Treecreeper excellent views of a Nuthatch and a flock of Longtailed Tits.
Our final stop was at an Arboretum in search of the Hawfinch, thanks to someone Paul knows we were directed to the spot where they are regularly seen, and within ten minutes one appeared followed by another 4. Another great ending to another great days birding.