Many will know I'm usually the first person to dismiss such claims of Gos, especially away from their strongholds, I usually say if you see a Gos you know it... but at this distance I was struggling.
It was a very large bird, clearly the size of a hen harrier at least, the undertail coverts were fully wrapped around the uppertail (giving the look of hen harrier on first look) the wings were fairly broad and it looked broad in the hips. The bird then headed back left and flushed just about every woodpigeon in the woods and then dissapeared.
As I have said I am usually the one who rubbishes these sorts of records, but I am very used to seeing displaying Sparrowhawks from this vantage point and this was instantly different due to size and bulk. I have seen large female sparrowhawks from here too, so do have prior knowledge as to what to expect in terms of behavior and size/shape. It actually did not look much smaller than the marsh harriers as they fly past that area, sparrowhawks certainly usually appear far smaller then them!
I took some very poor photos which are featured below. I admit they are not much use but I would really appreciate any comments as to why it could or couldnt be a Gos. Unfortunately apart from structure and flared undertail coverts I did not really get any plumage detail, partially due to attempted photography, now kicking myself! Photos taken with optical zoom only, no digital zoom and have only been cropped.
goshawk male ws 90-105cm
sparrowhawk fem ws 67-80
hen harrier ws 97-118
Woodpigeon ws 68-77
|this is an uncropped version of the photo below showing distance|
|bulky body and width of wing visible (just about through pixilation!)|
|Again same photo cropped to show comparison size of woodpigeon on left at what looked like a similar distance|
|There is what looks like a gull in this image but not sure of comparative distance?|
|this shot shows the wing shape/length slightly better|