Day five began in the same fashion with a walk over the mound to check for any new passerines that had dropped in overnight. A scan of the lagoon revealed a couple of Water Pipit but not much else. The North and South lakes were misty first thing with Egyptian and Greylag Goose on the latter.A little Egret was on the North Lake but it took flight towards 100 Acre. I took up a short residence on my corner before Dodge and Frank appeared at the gate. This was a relief as I had realised I had left my phone at home and had no means of contacting anyone if a rarity had turned up.
The weather today NW breeze with temperatures around 14c with cloud and sunny spells meant this was likely to be a good day for raptures. I joined them both and the days raptor watch began with the addition of Swifty later on.The flow of Buzzard began at a trickle with a Red Kite intermittently thrown in for good measure but as the temperature rose more Buzzard appeared with a pair displaying over the North Lake. We counted seven Buzzard together in the sky at one point. Some birds kept re appearing so each individual was looked at closely so that an accurate count of individual birds could be taken.
(photo by Roger Browne)
Dodge then picked up a Buzzard sized raptor flying high North and said “Can someone get on this?” as he dived for his camera. I fixed my binos on the bird as Frank got it in his scope. My immediate thought was this is not a buzzard! I fixed on a large broad winged accipiter with a deep rounded belly which had a long tail which was closed with a pale underbelly and vent. The head was thick and extended between the wings as it flew.The bird was very high but soared in an almost straight line taking the occasional single deep wing beat. I could hear Dodge’s camera firing away as the bird continued its journey on the thermal. Having watched Sparrowhawk on a daily basis at varying levels this was surely a Goshawk!
There was a period of discussion and the pictures were sent off to confirm our thoughts. Once again Dodge’s quick reactions to a sighting and the teamwork that had every viewing angle covered to secure evidence of the bird and with pictures a more thorough examination of the evidence could take place. The bird’s features strongly suggested Goshawk having recently viewed this species in the Pyrenees!
The record has been submitted. Goshawk will be my 182 species recorded at Beddington Farm and my second Surrey VC record! Day five produces a bird which if accepted will be the third record for the Farm. Incidentally the other two records were secured by Dodge’s photographic skills too Woo Hoo!