Monday, 10 March 2014

Flying giants of Vyrnwy?

Goshawk - SteveRound

March is always a month I set aside for goshawk
As long as it is not raining or the wind is blowing a gale this is the time to look for a normally difficult to see bird.
The forecast for this Saturday wasn’t too bad so we headed to a favourite spot of mine at Lake Vyrnwy. Taking the path up from the Giants of Vyrnwy car park we were retreading the footsteps of the abortive RSPB meet of 2013. However, with better weather this year we were more confident of success.

Even before we had reached our normal viewpoint we had a large goshawk on the hill behind us which was soon joined by a second. After a while they drifted out of sight but it was a good start to the day.
We continued up the track and settled down to scan for birds. From our viewpoint we checked each bird in the sky. Usually these were buzzards or ravens but there we had numerous sightings of goshawks and there may have been up to four birds present.
One goshawk soared alongside a similar sized buzzard for some minutes before diving at a small bird which turned out to be a sparrowhawk (presumably male as the size difference was so vast).
Most of our sightings were across the valley above the hill of the Ty-uchaf tea rooms but birds were picked up from all directions. We had birds flying below us as well as a vertical stoop from above us into the valley below.

During our four hour watch we also saw a pair of peregrines, one merlin and a red kite. One or two sparrowhawks were also present. Crossbill calls revealed one bright red male in the trees below us but that was it for small birds.

If you have a nice sunny day with a bit of a breeze don’t leave it another year.


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