Definitely a case of déjà vu today, although in a very different part of the forest, this time to the southwest of Fritham.
With lots more Goshawk aerial activity it was only a matter of time before I got another chance for some photos, and this time I was able to capture the red eye of a fine adult male as he passed directly overhead. The current bright and breezy conditions are ideal for mid-morning Goshawk display, and almost every major block of woodland seems to have at least one territorial pair.
On Fritham Plain, a herd of eight Fallow Deer bolted out of the trees from the direction of a nearby track, probably indicating that something had disturbed and/or chased them, but on this occasion they were left unmolested as they fled into a nearby valley.
Fittingly for the first day of spring, the sunshine had some real warmth to it in sheltered spots; I was therefore hoping to see my first Brimstone of the year, but had to settle for my second Drone Fly. Hawfinches are now singing regularly, and two were heard today, including one that was part of a flock of six feeding in hollies. A singing Woodlark was also recorded, as well as a high-flying Raven that was probably a wandering bird rather than a local breeder.
Migration slowly continues to gather pace, with a flock of ten Lesser Black-backed Gulls moving north, and the first trickle of Meadow Pipits heading in the same direction. It was also good to see a pair of Lapwings back on territory, defending their chosen patch from a trio of overflying Buzzards - the New Forest breeding population has fallen to its lowest level in recent history, so let’s hope they will have a better breeding season this year - the wet conditions should certainly be more to their liking!