On the 8th June 2014 I headed down to the New Forest on a twitch for a Short-toed Eagle. This individual and mega rare bird was first seen in Dorset and had moved over to Hampshire. The only records Ive heard about were on Scilly, Guernsey and Jersey. So, I believe, this is the first mainland record. En-route the bird went missing then reappeared at Hatchet Pond. Unfortunately, on arrival, I had missed the bird by a few minutes. 15 minutes later a car pulled up and reported a hawk in a tree down the road. 2 minutes later I was looking at a 'light phased' Common Buzzard!? I decided to bin my twitch and head to Acres Down and look for Honey Buzzard.
|Acres Down - Honey Buzzard watch point - Hampshire|
|Mooney and Force celebrating the eagle twitch!|
|Nolan and dad on another twitch|
Most of the birding tribe were already there when Nolan and I walked along the main path and were obviously looking at something. We picked the pace up. We ran! A few frantic pointed directions later and we were looking at a SHORT-TOED EAGLE!!
We again hooked up with Mike and Jon and all wallowed in this mega rarity. It posed for some time up in a pine until finally taking flight and circling, giving us all crippling views! What an absolutely fitting end to what has been an amazing month. As I write this Mike Force is somewhere over Canada; heading home. He will be missed by friends and family here in England but he gets to take home a wealth of adventures and memories. Until our next adventure Mr. Force....CHEERS!!!!