What a great day! I left home early and arrived at The New Forest soon after first light. The entire landscape was frosted as I slowly made my way down to Pig Bush enclosure in the hope of seeing the Great Grey Shrike. I joined Ads and Paul Bowley and after an hour, there was no sign. Alan Lewis and I therefore walked around to Shatterford, skidding across the ice as we went, and thankfully found the Great Grey Shrike atop a Birch Tree. The shrike continuously preened as it warmed in the morning sun, before becoming increasingly active, and soon, disappearing.
|Great Grey Shrike|
I had wanted to walk a long circuit today in the hope of coming across a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, obviously knowing this would be a near-impossible task. However, five minutes are departing the shrike, I heard a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker singing. I waited patiently , and soon spotted its movement in the treetops as it got slightly harassed by a Great Spot. It quickly vanished, but carefully walking the forsest floor, I could here its slight drumming, before it went into full singing mode again. I had it on view for easily 10-minutes, but always obscured by twigs etc, but such an amazing sight!
|Lesser Spotted Woodpecker|
I walked back to the car via a few forest trails where a male Goshawk flew over, before driving to the north part of the forest to Pipers Wait 'viewpoint' and soon had a male and female Goshawk fly around, allowing excellent scope views.
|Spot the perched male Goshawk|
It was only 1pm, so I opted to drive straight to Staines Reservoir for a complete change of scene (and noise), but quickly found the drake Lesser Scaup. I wish I'd stayed around the forest and went to Blashford, but I had been wanting to see the scaup all week as it's only 40-minutes from home, so there we go.
|drk Lesser Scaup|
Just under a month until the Seville Marathon so most of my time is training for this, therefore it was good to have a decent birding day.