Friday, 21 March 2008

Chough 2 Goshawk 1

After yesterday's start with rain and poor visibility today I was out with clients in bright sunshine and plenty of wind. We started just south of Ardnave and headed southwards. Chough watching from the accommodation pick up point and then onto watch the Barnies and Whitefronts loafing in the fields. The light was so very good we could see all the details very clearly. We headed along Gruinart flats; Lapwings very much on territory, Curlew, more Barnies, Skylark and plenty of Whooper on thewetland. Then further on along the road from some cover near Coillubus a large-ish hawk exploded outwards sending plenty of 'wee brown jobs' into panic. We watched as it flew right infront and then across the Landrover and up into the sky. We got great views of a white supercilium and brown chequed underneath, heavily barred tail and we had to think for a moment what it was. 'Goshawk!' two of us called and we 'pursued' it up the glen. It flew quite high on pointy wings then dropped into more cover further on. After such good views we lost it. We waited but had' no luck. Being so brown and chequed it was a juv. and as it was quite a large bird - more likely to be a female. I immediately telephoned Catherine - the RSPB warden and the office to get the word out. What excitement.
We had an elderly lady with us, who two years ago witnessed an Osprey feeding at Gorm. She obviously brought us good luck! Onto the Merse where we enjoyed Goose watching and waders at a distance.