The goshawk site was in a dense spruce forest where the amount of light was low even with a blue sky overhead. But the goshawk didn't disappoint, so I have come back with a bucketload of images shot at ISO 3200 and ISO 1600. I know I can do the above image more justice, but I desperately need a better screen and my usual arsenal of image editing tools.
The bird experts around here have explained to me that this is an adult male. The horizontal stripes indicate "adult"; the juvenile birds have a more spotted appearance. The colour of the eyes indicate "male". The female's eye colour is more yellow; closer to that of the base of the beak and the feet.
According to my guide I have good reason to be satisfied with my results; it has been shy lately. I had a good two hours continuous session with this bird, which my guide describes as "very well done". So I must be doing something right on my first attempt. :-)
What kinda scares me is that I'm beginning to like this. Well... not really the part of nearly freezing my ass off in the hide, but there is a certain cameraderie with the other photographers here; a very including atmosphere where the day's catch is subject of a very constructive discussion and how one can improve the results next time. The guys into bird photography has a highly specialised knowledge of this type of photography, where there apparently is a black hole's worth of details to pay attention to. I really feel like a novice here.
But now I'm babbling. There's time for thinking inside those hides... Sometimes too much time, and sometimes too little.
After re-reading the above I realise I must have suffered from both, to end up writing something like this. But I'll let it stand. It seems like a good description of the situation, after all.
Oh, and the shot was made with K20D and DA* 300/4, exposed for 1/80s at f/5.0 and ISO 3200. Some noise reduction has been applied.