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.
On the 7th March this year we visited the New Forest in search of the Goshawk and were rewarded with good views of a displaying pair, this time we were in search of Honey Buzzard. But firstly we stopped in a mature woodland on the Boulderwood Arboretum Drive near Lyndhurst for Redstart and Wood Warbler and got we soon had good views of the Redstart but not the Wood Warbler
From here we drove to the other side of the A31 to an area known as Godshill south east of Fordingbridge.This area is a vast heathland with woodland interspersed and here we trecked up to a ridge and waited and waited for a Honey Buzzard many Buzzards appeared but alas they were always common
Whislt scouring the skies there were birds flitting around the gorse bushes we were in hope of a Dartford Warbler but each time they turned out to be Stonechats
Paul shouted out a think I've heard a Dartford, Jan calls out over there, something flits between the gorse and the hunt is on to find it, eventually one comes into view and then its mate obviously finding food for their young as they kept dissappearing into a bush and then emerging and flitting around the gorse again and returning to the same place.
As we continued walking along the ridge a couple more pairs of Dartfords were seen, this is encouraging as not one has been seen in Sussex yet this year, Still no sign of the Honey Buzzard only a few more common ones but we did hear and see my first Garden Warbler. As we headed back to the cars the temperature rising to 20deg. C. a large bird of prey appeared from nowhere right above our heads and without the Bins I could tell it was a Red Kite totally unexpected but a great sight. From here we moved on to another wood near Fritham this time to try for the Wood Warber, taking a break for lunch and listening hard no luck but the distant Cuckoo came nearer and eventually we saw him flying through the trees.
After lunch making our way back to the cars we found a common Lizard basking in the sun and a couple more Stonechats sitting on top of Gorse bushes - from here we went onto Acres Down (where we saw the Goshawks in March). The temperature was about 20 deg. C. above that of last time and we took shelter under a tree.
Continual skanning of the skies only produced common Buzzards but for the hour we spent there we had other birds to watch, firstly this Meadow Pipit
and then we noticed a pair of Redstarts flying to and from a hole in a tree,obviously feeding their young
Redstart flies in with food
Redstart flies out again
Still no sign of a Honey Buzzard
So we set off for the wood at the bottom of the hill to try for Wood Warbler again, searching through the woods not far from the car park Paul hears a call we cross a stream through a bog following the call and eventually there he is,we all mange to get good views and Alan gets this pic.
and then this one
Another superb days birding and 3 more species to the list all warblers but the Honey Buzzard