Saturday, 23 February 2013

What a week that was!

Hoping my luck would hold, I headed out in search of a Goshawk. 6.45am on Friday morning found me looking out over the Forest of Dean from the New Fancy Viewing Platform. The last day of my holiday, and I had a feeling my run of luck was about to end. I knew it was a little early for displaying Goshawks, and now it was snowing, I wasn't feeing it.

The temperature was below freezing and the wind chill factor was colder. Two other optimistic Goshawk seekers had arrived at the same time as me, and we dug in, braved the cold and kept on looking and hoping. By 9.30 we retreated to our respective vehicles cranked up the heating and started defrosting, at least the snow had stopped. I was well wrapped up and to be honest quite warm, all except my fingers. Even with gloves on, they were painfully cold.

By 10.00am with warmed fingers and a hot coffee inside me, I was back on watch. Another brave soul had joined the vigil, so we now had four pairs of eyes looking out over the forest looking for a Goshawk.

At about 10.45am, two birds were spotted in the distance. A Crow, mobbing a Goshawk. The second time this week a Crow had aided in getting me a good bird. As they tussled with each other in the air, they drifted closer, providing great views to all four of us. I believe that Crow probably spotted the Goshawk perched and launched its attack. Driving the Goshawk upwards and into view. The weather and temperature were not conducive for display flights, so a mobbing Crow had saved the day and continued my run of good luck.

What a way to end an already exceptional weeks birding. The Forest of Dean was spectacular, and I intend a return later in the year in search of a Pied Flycatcher. I'm already looking forward to it.


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