On a mission to photograph as many birds that occur in the British Isles I headed off to the Netherlands ! Makes sense right ? Well I had come across some information relating to hides in the Netherlands where you could photograph these 2 species at close range. Goshawks are rare in Britain and even though there have been plenty of reports of Hawfinch in Britain they are difficult to photograph in the field.
So I decided to head over there taking advantage of low fares provided by certain carriers. I flew out at lunchtime on Friday, 55 minutes later we touched down in Amsterdam to be met by my friend Jens Stahl. Hides were booked for Sat/Sun so we just headed out into the countryside for the afternoon. It soon became clear I was in for an added bonus, one location had several pairs of breeding Black-tailed Godwit. We stayed in the car and took some shots from the track of Godwits watching over their little ones from Gate posts. Constantly on the lookout for Crows, Jackdaws and anything else they considered a predator.
It was my first experience of these birds in Breeding Plumage as I had only ever seen them as passage migrants in the UAE.
So we headed home for dinner and a few beverages before waking up at 4am to head out on our 90 minute drive to the hides. I had been warned that things were slow but that I should expect some Hawfinch visits along with a Juvenile male Goshawk and that adult Goshawks would be busy with raising youngsters so I should not expect them at the hide. As expected a lot of patience was needed but eventually I had a visit from a single male Hawfinch and 2 visits of the Juvenile Male.
The next day, another 4am rise was pretty much the same except that I had an additional Hawfinch, this time a female and bird of the weekend a male adult Goshawk which put a huge grin on my face !