I saw a beautiful sight this evening. I had just arrived home from work and was sitting outside enjoying coffee and soaking up a few rays. We are currently enjoying a heat wave in the UK so you have to make the most of it dontcha. Over a week now of temperatures in the high 20s C (That’s the 80s in real money… lol) and lots more to come apparently. Bliss except when you work in a warehouse.
Anyway I was enjoying the sight of the house martins zooming about in the clear blue sky catching insects when I spotted something unusual. It looked almost like a small eagle circling above me. Quite high up but easily distinguishable as a raptor rather than a gull or a crow. A truly wonderful sight as it circled effortlessly in large languid circles, just riding the thermals with wings outstretched. I did briefly think it was a gull as its underparts were fairly whitish but this was no gull.
I thought it was a Common Buzzard and was partly right. This wasn’t the first time I’d seen one. I actually saw a pair over Duxford in Cambridgeshire 2 weeks ago and was lucky enough to have binoculars on me at the time. I had also spotted a quick view of one in August last year (2012) in Linton, Cambs as I was driving. And tonight I spotted a lone one in Haverhill, Suffolk.
Initially my sighting caused a bit of head scratching (proverbially) on my part. I am no ornithological expert but I believed Common Buzzards to mostly reside in the North and West of Britain. They have been largely absent from the Eastern counties since the 1950s due to persecution by gamekeepers and also by myxomatosis killing off a lot of the rabbit population (their normal grub). The rabbits came back but not the Buzzards to any great extent.
So I thought I’d do a bit of research and I now believe that what I saw were Honey Buzzards which actually visit this part of the UK between May to September before traveling south again. They get their name as they are partial to bee and wasp larva and raid the nests. I suppose they were misnamed in the belief that they were after the honey instead.
Anyway click on my links for more info on these beautiful raptors and if you are in the Cambridge/Suffolk border area keep your eyes peeled. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed if you are lucky enough to spot one.
© 2013 Stan M Rogers. All rights reserved.