Last week was half-term, so there were no classes, but some of my 'students' went out and tried to locate birds on their own. Both of those who sent photos went looking for Goshawks. None of them were successful, despite the perfect conditions. Friday was beautiful with hardly any wind, and with clear blue skies. It seems the first group may have gone out too early in the day. Jane's party went out in the morning, and only had Red Kites, Buzzards, Greenfinches and a Grey Wagtail for their trouble.
Red Kite (c) 2017 Jane Robinson
Meanwhile a separate party consisting of Brian and Margaret arrived at midday. They weren't able to find any Goshawks either, but their compensation was a smart male Kestrel and a stunning male Crossbill.
Male Kestrel (c) 2017 Margaret Richardson
Male Crossbill (c) 2017 Margaret Richardson
Record Shot of Crossbill (c) 2017 Margaret Richardson
Meanwhile, one of the top listers in Yorkshire was at the same location just a little earlier on the same day, and had good views of an adult Goshawk and an immature bird.
Goshawk (c) 2017 Steve Lawson
Immature Goshawk (c) 2017 Steve Lawson
Goshawks aren't the easiest birds to photograph, but the next 6 weeks are probably the best time to connect with them as they perform their aerial display. I've only ever managed to snatch record shots of this species. The male below was taken 9 years ago, at a site I've never heard of them being seen, before or since. However, their presence is often kept quiet, as they are one of the most persecuted birds of prey in the UK! Will any of the groups see Goshawks in the next few weeks - keep an eye on this blog to find out.