Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Gostastic afternoon

Went to have a look to see if I could see any juv honey Buzzards this afternoon. No sign of any HB's but witnessed some very curious and unseasonal goshawk behaviour. At midday I picked up a Gos stooping towards what I thought might be a HB coming towards me head on. As the attacking bird got close, the second bird rolled onto its back exposing its talons....another Gos. These two actually talon grappled for a split second before separating. As they did so, another two came into my view. For the next twenty seven minutes I watched four Goshawks, stooping at one another, talon grappling and even roller coasting briefly. If these birds had been juveniles or even a pair with two juvs, I wouldn't think too much of it, BUT  although fairly distant, I could clearly see through the scope that all four birds were in adult type plumage. So...what the hell were they doing in late August, acting as though its late March? Ive been lucky enough to spend many hundreds of hours watching Goshawks in Sussex, and I have never witnessed this behaviour at this time of year, nor can I find any reference to it anywhere. My own best guess would be that they were 2cy/sub adult birds, practising for next year. Surely, they don't just go straight into full roller-coasting mode the first spring they feel sexy? It would make sense that youngish birds put in some form of practise, wouldn't it? I've written to Dick Forsman to see if its behaviour he's familiar with. Does anyone else have any suggestions? I'd like to know if its something that others have witnessed, and would be grateful for theories. My email is The more I think I know about Goshawks, the more questions arise. I guess that's what it's all about.
Oh yeah, if anyone wants to give me a really good mega bucks HD video camera for nothing, I'd be ever so grateful...ha ha.

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