Sparrowhawk….. that looked very like a goshawk!

This afternoon, I came up to the office and spotted a large bird sitting on the far hedge….. I immediately realised it was a bird of prey and grabbed the binoculars. It was quite a way away, but very pale, slightly smaller than a buzzard and heavily barred. I grabbed the camera and trained the 400mm lens on it. Still rather small in the image, I took a couple of shots and zoomed in on the view finder. I was not sure what it was…. it’s very prominent eyebrows really stood out and it seemed too big to be a sparrowhawk. The only other bird I could think of was a goshawk… but round here??? looking through the books, I could see that goshawks had this prominent eyebrow marking and the barring was right…

Here is a distant video clip I took, hand held out of the bathroom window!


and a couple of quickly processed, heavily cropped images…. excuse the poor quality…..





I tweeted that I had seen a possible goshawk and posted to photos ….. and then came the responses…. my possible goshawk was, in fact a large female sparrowhawk… with particularly large eyebrows!!! Oh well, stunning nevertheless, this beautiful bird sat there for a bout 5 minutes before flying up the field and out of sight. Although this female looked pretty large, goshawks are buzzard size and much bigger build. I will know next time…. now I need to go somewhere to see a goshawk!! 

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