Up very early (4.45am) for trip to New Forest and eventually leading the NE Hants RSPB Group around Beaulieu Road Station.
First stop was at Lower Test Marshes to try and get Grasshopper Warbler with no success. Managed one Cetti's Warbler.
Next up was Pennington Marshes which was actually quite quiet. No sign of the Pectoral Sandpiper but did manage 4 Little Ringed Plovers (in display flight), a Whimbrel, another Cetti's Warbler and for the year 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Little Terns.
Then made way to Bealieu Road Station for the RSPB walk.
Everthing started so slowly until we approached the broad-leaved woodland and the first of a few Stonechat's showed in the bracken. I then called Hobby which was showing distantly in the heat haze, damn! However, it was having none of it and proceeded to fly directly towards us and then gave fantastic views over our heads and hawking insects nearby.
Then thinks really started to kick-in - I picked up a large raptor over the tree line which we identified as a Goshawk which gave fairly good views now and again allowing views of the salient features.
The woodland yielded Redstart and Treecreeper and a Slow-Worm on the path.
Onto the back path and our luck continued to hold with 2 fly-over Cuckoos, 2 Raven's which flew in from the SW and then best of all a dark-phase Honey Buzzard over the woods consorting with Common Buzzards.
The rest of the walk contained minor fair such as Siskin, Curlew and Coal Tit.
Most people left after lunch but those who stayed did'nt see much else apart from a few Fallow Deer, a Hornet, Large Red Damselfly and Broad-bodied Chaser.
I was disappointed we couldn't find any Wood Warblers, where are they all?