Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Rough-legged Buzzard: Work Tick!!

A couple of weeks back I visited a new site and had an amazing day - see here!

Today I managed to get back over there again and had yet another cracking day...

We arrived at the site around 10.30 and by 11 I was getting dropped off at my vantage point, where I was to spend the next 5 hours. As we were approaching the location we noticed a large bird hanging face on in the wind low directly over my vantage point. It didn't look right for the expected species based on my previous visit, marsh harrier, hen harrier, common buzzard... as we neared it the bird turned and showed it was very pale, we raced up in the landy, jumped out with our optics and were straight on it, a cracking juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard! The bird showed well as it gradually drifted west, I tried grabbing a couple of shots as it flew away (below - off my phone)

Rough-leg - Honest! (off phone)

Rough-leg - Honest! (off phone)

The bird showed well for the next three hours as it foraged around the site, here's a slightly better picture of a Rough-legged buzzard - taken last year © Renton Charman 2010. Rough-legged Buzzard was a 'work tick' for me which was really cool, and my first one of the winter and follows hot on the heals of last weeks self-found Rustic Bunting! I like my job!!!

Rough-legged Buzzard © Renton Charman 2010

Throughout the day harriers were again numerous, less Marsh Harrier (c4/5 birds) but more Hen Harriers (c6+ birds) including adult males and females and ring-tail male and females - again these birds gave great views as they hunted and fought with each other! A pair of Peregrine provided a bit of interest for an hour or so as they bombed around trying to catch one of the many Wood Pigeon that were about. Common raptors included a lot of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard.

There was plenty of other birds around, the other highlight were singles of Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Pink-footed Goose and Tundra Bean Goose (phone pic below - thanks Russ!) and several flocks of Whooper Swan.

Tundra Bean Goose (mobile shot)

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