May has always been my favourite spring month and for good cause, it is the month when local "Wadering" can produce a few goodies such Temminks Stints, Curlew Sands Red necked Phalaropes and also the odd good vagrant wader but May also holds another special species for me and that is the European Honey Buzzard. The annual pilgrimages down to the New Forest in order to set up and sit comfortably with a nice fresh brew on the go, a nice blue sky above , nice scenery and good company with the hope of some good "sky-dancing" activity from a HB which is one of my favourite non wader species. When May arrived I did ponder on what lay in the store for the month ahead so when a huge storm passed through on Sunday afternoon lingering on until Monday lunch time I did wonder if it had grounded any migrants. As the rain stopped I took a walk down in to the area of the marsh and just as I was half way a cracking Arctic Warbler was making its way along the seaward side bushes, feeding regularly . As I walked in and around the marsh where several Pied Imperial Pigeons flew over and 3 Pink Necked Green Pigeons flew low through the area, Brown Throated Sunbirds began to feed and it felt like bids were on the move once the storm had finally passed by. I regularly scanned skywards and then noticed 2 Large Billed Crows flying up and calling aggressively as if there was a raptor present. I was proper pleased when I saw the Oriental Honey Buzzard in these photos lifting out of the forest area, thermaling but being mobbed by the crows. I thought that it would have just kept climbing but this individual had other plans and acted if it was thinking " enough is enough of your noise and attitude" & actually stooped at them . As you can see in the photo above the OHB decided enough was enough and first went straight at the crows separating them and then proceeding to chase the closest crow.
At one point it twisted in mid air to gain speed and in the photo above you can see that the OHB is actually upside down with its upperwings facing the ground and its under-body facing skywards. The crow dipped in to cover of close by canopy of the forest with the HB passing by and then deciding to move on. I was really pleased with this sighting as it is as close as I am going to get to some serious Honey Buzzard action this year in May and also it is the first spring record for the island which I had hoped might happen.