If that prospect irks you at all, stop reading now. I do not want to be blamed for deterioration in anyone's health due to raised blood pressure originating from my approach to ornithophilia.
Still reading? Good. Let's go!
Off west this morning in search of big black birds (as opposed to big Blackbirds). Plenmeller was the site, and what a lovely one it was.
The departure weather was superb; clear; crisp and cool. It remained that way until just past Haydon Bridge when it soon became overcast and 'foggy' due to low cloud. Bloody typical, ten miles from arrival and bugger all to see!
Still, might as well give it a go, so on reaching Plenmeller Common, it was back to clarity:
Plenty of activity from these little fellas;
And after nearly three hours of scanning, nothing bigger than a crow, except................
Flying north, three birds, one ahead of other two, the rear duo Crows, the front one flapping and gliding, and flapping and gliding, the wing beats much more controlled and deliberate than a Sparrowhawk. The bird itself was much more sturdier, and its direct flight path took it to within a few hundred yards and from bins to scope as it continued north and into a copse of trees, causing Red Grouse over which it travelled to scatter and the Wood Pigeons sunning themselves in the southern edge of the trees to get the flock out!
Good Lord! What an unexpected surprise! A Goshawk. Not a first, but a first for this year. After quite a few trips to Kielder with nothing to show for it, finally bagged one as an add-on.