THE BIRDS OF SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE          Goshawk - accipiter gentilis

 

In Britain Goshawk became extinct in the 19th century because of specimen collectors and persecution by gamekeepers, but in recent years it has come back by immigration from Europe, escaped falconry birds, and deliberate releases. The name Goshawk comes from the Old English word 'góshafoc' meaning 'goose-hawk' and may refer to this bird's barred plumage as well as its ability to take large prey; also the Middle English 'goshauk'. Some historical names for Goshawk include; Great Hawk and Tiercel.

 

There have been around forty Goshawk reported from S. Gloucestershire;

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

 

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2014 (3)

Two were reported in flight over Lower Woods on Inglestone Common on April 3rd; One drifted slowly east over Kingsgate Park at Yate at 16:30 on April 21st;

 

2013 (6)

One was seen over Chipping Sodbury Quarry around ST: 724 838 at 17:00 on April 2nd; One was seen taking prey in woodland in the Shire Valley at Marshfield on April 7th; A female was seen on June 5th at the west end of Shire Valley from Rushmead Lane at 16:30; An immature male was seen on Chipping Sodbury Common on August 21st; One was seen mobbing and then soaring with a Common Buzzard over Lagoon I at Oldbury Power Station until lost to view on September 5th; In the Oldbury Power Station area an immature was seen at Shepperdine at around 08:10 on September 15th.

 

2012 (3)

Two a presumed male and female were seen flying south over Old Sodbury on April 13th...'The first bird was the smallest and a bit higher, it was calling, which made me look up, all the other birds around had stopped singing at this point. The second bird flew over just above tree top height, the light was behind me with the white under tail coverts showing up well (they were quite large). Too quick to see any barring but the large chest also stood out well, as it flew away it was doing the characteristic flap flap glide. I did not see the smaller bird much as I was watching the larger bird, which was also a lot closer...' David Teague - April 2012

 

One was reported over Savage's Wood on November 3rd and then seen heading south early morning over Three Brooks NR. (Steve Emery)

 

2011 (c.3)

A female was seen in the morning on January 8th in flight over Gunning's Wood in the Shire Valley near Marshfield and was also noted in the same area on January 30th and March 6th; A female was seen flying west at Aust Warth on September 14th.

 

2010 (c.5)

A male and female returned to the breeding site in S. Glos and were noted in the first week of March; Two, a male and female over Yate and Westerleigh Common at 11:45 on April 13th then south-west towards Coalpit Heath; An unconfirmed report of one flying across the estuary from Gwent towards Aust Warth at 13:00 where it was seen by three observers circling before departing north on October 18th.

 

2009 (c.8)

One was disturbed in Cloud Wood at the east end of Doncombe Valley south of Marshfield on January 21st and called several times as it flew off; A male was seen well in trees and then in flight for five minutes at Shirehill, Marshfield on April 18th. It was noted near Lower Shirehill Farm and Hazel Grove then flew west towards Rownham Farm; A male was seen with Buzzard in St. Catherine's Valley on the 28th May east of Ayford Lane near Motcombe Farm.

 

Successful breeding was recorded again this year at the same site as in 2008 when a pair successfully reared three young.

 

2008 (c.6)

A probable male was seen on the afternoon of February 9th in flight flying south-east over Davis's Farm Machinery Yard and then Marshfield School. Very slow wing beats and then short flat glides were noted; One, a male was seen at ST: 784 713 near Motcombe Farm in St. Catherine's valley at around 11:30 on December 7th.

 

The first occurrence of successful breeding was confirmed at a site in S. Glos in 2008 when a pair reared two young.

 

2007 (1)

One was reported seen briefly over Rocks East Woodland just south-east of Marshfield on December 30th.

 

2005 (2)

On January 21st an individual was reported near Marshfield over Rushmead Lane. (ST: 780 748); One, probably a juvenile was seen January 23rd over Northfield Lane near Marshfield.

 

2004 (1)

One, a female, was reported circling from Oldbury Power Station just north of Lagoon II on February 28th at around 13:00 and heading north towards Shepperdine.

 

1999 (1)

One flew across the estuary at Oldbury Power Station on March 26th.

 

1998 (1)

A juvenile male was seen on August 15th at Severn Beach.

 

1997 (1)

On July 6th at Severn Beach, a male was seen to fly inland.

 

1989 (1)

On June 25th near Thornbury a female was identified in flight heading west to south-east. (DH and L Payne) This occurrence constitutes the first record of this species in S. Gloucestershire.

 


©TBOSG November 2005 - All rights reserved