Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween treat

Having spent the last two weeks being gripped by the Buckton Rough-legged Buzzard I was keen to get on patch and to find another, but despite my determination deep down I sensed the moment had gone. Saturday morning started off well with a fly through ringtail Hen Harrier - the first here this year. After a bit of ringing I decided to work the cliff top fields to locate the Lapland Bunting flock as I had heard a few moving around whilst checking the nets. This proved to be a very good move as I managed to find a flock of 70, yes 70 Lap Bunts and whilst watching these my attention was draw to a raptor being mobbed in the distance off to the west near the trig point. Even before lifting the bins I just knew this was going to be a Rough-legged Buzzard! But I was more than shocked when through the bins it proved to be startling pale with black carpal patches and had a huge black belly patch ! Whats more, as soon as I starting thinking just come closer it banked and starting heading my way, a bit of rally driving through the stubble and 30 seconds later I was directly underneath it and staring up at it, in great light and at around only 50ft distance. After several leaps in the air I remembered I had a camera ! The bird then started heading off to the south and inland, I watched it as far as I could with binoculars and it appeared to land just over the Buckton to Filey road. After putting the news out I quickly made my way to the south of Buckton along Grindale Road. After 20 mins of scanning I simply could not relocate the bird, then two middle-aged cyclists came past me and enquired what the eagle like bird was perched in the small bush just back along the road ! A quick u-turn and once more no sign of it, I was really confused then suddenly realised that the brown clod of earth just in front of me was moving, no time for bins, one blast of the camera shutter which thankfully coincided with its take off . The bird then hung around and gave reasonable views for the next 2 hours, roosting nearby. The rest of the weekend was rather uneventful with a total of 67 new birds ringed, bringing the October total to over 800 new birds. Rough-legged Buzzard oh yes !


heavy birder said...

Congrats on the Rough Leg, looks like you had better views than the one I had on 17th October. Nice harrier shots as well.

Jack Ashton-Booth said...

Cracking Shot Mark. Stunning Birds