Thursday, 12 February 2009

Beeding Brooks

The Brooks were very flooded today making access difficult so it was probably no surprise that I did not see any Short-eared Owls. More than adequate compensation was provided by a large bird of prey which I initially took to be a harrier though closer views as it soared overhead showed it to be a male Goshawk, the protruding chest, long tail with a rounded tip and long, broad wings with a bulge in the rear edge creating a distinctive silhouette and confirming its identity. The upperparts appeared greyish and the underparts pale and washed out suggesting an adult. Although there was no doubt in mind that it was a Gos, it was nice to see a female Sparrowhawk at similar range a few minutes which looked tiny by comparison. Also 3 Little Egrets, a Buzzard, a Peregrine perched high up on a pylon and 7+ Sky Larks. The fields on west side of the river were deep in flood water and on the floods were at least 16 Pintail, 12 Wigeon and 2 Shoveler. A noisy pair of Greylag Geese flew over. A quick look at Beeding Hill on the way home produced brief views of the 3 Tree Sparrows and a Kestrel on a post above the dung heap.

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