17th March 2020 – A day looking for Goshawks

An exclusive day mainly aimed at seeing Goshawks. We started in N Norfolk at my local site, it was an ideal morning, with some sunny spells and a good breeze. We were rewarded very quickly with a single male Goshawk skirting along the tree tops around 9.15am, then a lull with Buzzards dominating, at least 25 Buzzards in the air at one point! A kestrel and the local Yellowhammers were very showy, plus a Brambling showed along one of the hedges. Several Sparrowhawks appeared including a displaying male. We then had a while to wait before a fine adult male Goshawk showed well for a couple of minutes, giving good scope views.

It was now 11am and we decided to head off to the Brecks, we arrived just before midday. Great timing as a male Goshawk, showed well in front of us. After a few minutes this bird reappeared and was soon joined by an immature, probably a 2cy Goshawk. They interacted and for the next 15 minutes they soared and occasionally grappled, providing great scope views. A 3rd bird appeared further back but the 2 battling males kept our attention! Also another displaying Sparrowhawk here, 15+ Buzzard and nearby 2 Red Kites.

© Goshawks – Ryan Irvine Norfolk Birding

With the main objective of the day well and truly put to bed, we headed off in search of Stone Curlew. There was a Stone Curlew present in one f the usual locations, decent scope views without any disturbance to the bird.

© Stone Curlew – Ryan Irvine Norfolk Birding

It was now early afternoon, so not the best time, however there was a Woodlark perched on the wires and then on a post, a little sub-song from this bird was nice to hear. Yellowhammer here, a Siskin flew over and an early Chiff-chaff singing.

We next headed off to a recently found Great Grey Shrike, we were lucky with this bird as it was showing well on arrival. We watched from distance, then drove slowly closer, the bird was in slightly atypical habitat, open farmland with the bird feeding from the overhead wires and hedgerow. It was also unusually approachable, giving as excellent views. Also two more Red Kite here as well.

© Great Grey Shrike – Ryan Irvine Norfolk Birding

We then headed back towards North Norfolk, stopping off for the roosting Tawny Owl, although today it wasn’t present. But a stop off along the Wensum gave us a nice selection of Shoveler, Gadwall, Little Grebe and a pair of Grey Wagtails.

We rounded the day off with tea and cake, a lovey day out.