Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Buzzards

Buzzards again I’m afraid. Well let’s face it a “big brown job” like a Buzzard is a lot easier to find, ID and photograph than those “little brown jobs” and I’m all for an easy life. 

The first Buzzard was at Braides Farm again, way out on the fence towards the sea wall; and in the photo below that’s Heysham Power Station in the far distance, 20 miles across Morecambe Bay. 

A mile or less along the sea wall are fields swarming with released Red-legged Partridges courtesy of the local shooters but the local Buzzards are too lazy to go chasing partridges which fly fast and close to the ground. Instead the Buzzards mostly prefer a “watch and wait” approach from a tree or fence, mainly for earthworms, amphibians and large insects plus the odd bit of carrion like road kill. 

Buzzard

What’s that old adage? “Give a dog a bad name and hang him” comes to mind. There’s another Buzzard photo later in this post for folk who appreciate this much maligned raptor. 

There was a Kestrel at Braides too, but little else to excite. 

I stopped at Conder Green where on the pool I found 18 Little Grebe, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Goldeneye and 2 Grey Heron. In the creeks - 1 Kingfisher, 160 Teal, 2 Spotted Redshank, 1 Ruff, 1 Little Egret and 1 Goosander. 

At Glasson Dock there was a Black-headed Gull with a Darvic ring inscribed “6CY”. Anyone out there wishing to claim ownership please contact me, but in any case I will submit the record to the appropriate place. 

Black-headed Gull - 6CY

It wasn’t long after 9:15 am but both Conder Green and Glasson started to resemble a combined Bradley Wiggins Festival and Cruft’s Dog Show, so I drove to Pilling looking for peace and quiet. 

On the tideline a Pink-footed Goose flapped to escape me but with one wing smashed beyond repair it couldn't do so. I lacked the heart or the means to kill the poor bird, so shame to say left it to its own devices and hopefully quick death. How did this happen? Probably an unclean shot by a sportsman which left the bird ”winged” to later drift on the tide and eventually find its way ashore. 

Pink-footed Goose

On and around the pools, flooded fields and maize - 2 Ruff, 40+ Shelduck, 8 Oystercatcher, 3 Redshank, 2 Reed Bunting and 5+ Skylark. 

In the sunny wood there was a little activity around a few of the Tree Sparrow boxes, the autumnal display in evidence whereby this species is known to indulge in sexual activity and sometimes construct nests. 

Tree Sparrow

I was side-tracked by a party of tits moving through the trees, a good number of Long-tailed Tits, a Nuthatch, a Goldcrest and several Great Tits. Just then two more distractions arrived with a Grey Wagtail flying over followed by a Kingfisher flying across the woodland pool and landing in a tree situated in front of two Mallards and a pair of Teal. It’s very unusual to see Teal here so deep in the woodland.

Fluke Hall, Pilling

A Buzzard flew over the wood, the raptor pursued by Carrion Crows eager to see the bird out of their patch. It’s weird how Buzzards can sit around on fence posts for ages unmolested by other birds but as soon as they begin to resemble a hawk they attract unwanted attention. 

Carrion Crows and Buzzard

I'm out of action tomorrow but tune in soon for more large and small brown jobs.

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday.

21 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

sorry for the goose. i hope a dog or other predator will finish it quickly. lovely last shot.

Margaret Adamson said...

So sad about the PF goose. Hope it does not suffer. I love the shot of the tree Sparrow at the nest box.

Linda said...

Sad about the goose. Lovely captures...I don't see buzzards here in Montreal, so thanks for sharing.

Germán Ibarra Zorrilla said...

La última foto es preciosa. Saludos...

David Gascoigne said...

After your last dire post about the fate of Buzzards who have the audacity to stray over a gamekeeper's turf, it's good to see a couple left to live out their lives peacefully - well, unless a few Carrion Crows think otherwise, that is. Can't resist saying that I think it's a case of one old Buzzard photographing other old Buzzards!

David Gascoigne said...

Second comment - I think you should make a poster of that poor wounded goose and post it everywhere that these big, bold, macho hunters hang out, often half in the bag before they even get to their hides, to shoot their elusive targets drawn in by food, so that they are right in front of their eyes. Even then they can't shoot straight. It's real sport isn't it? So much skill required. Probably almost all men...well, in terms of gender only. I hope their wives are proud of them.

Sylvia K said...

So sad to see the injured goose!! The world certainly doesn't need any more killers - animal or people!!

Adam Jones said...

A real shame for the Pink Foot. Love the Tree Sparrow and Buzzard flight shot.
I also see there were lots of Twite reported today at Pilling.

Fun60 said...

That crow is certainly telling the buzzard where to go.

carol l mckenna said...

Always great bird photography!

Sorry about the goose ~ any wildlife refuge around that take them in to heal I wonder? Sad to see I am sure.


Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol
A Creative Harbor

mick said...

As always - an interesting post and great photos - especially the last with the in-flight buzzard and attendant crows! Poor Goose.

Russell Jenkins said...

We only get Buzzards in the cooler months here in Niigata but I'm always thrilled to see them. Like your dramatic crows causing buzzard shot, Phil.

Uppal said...

Splendid bird images!

Mary Cromer said...

SAD about the lovey goose, and by now, I hope it has no longer suffered...the Buzzards are grand and you are so right about the chasing of the Crows. They would never sit along side one, but once in flight they will get so close, sometimes they will peck them from above. Had to giggle about the festival, and the dog show you mentioned, and I would have gone on to better birding elsewhere too~

Errol Newman said...

Good jaunt, good post, Phil

Gunilla Bäck said...

I like your big brown jobs a lot. Poor goose. I hope it didn't have to suffer for long.

Christian Weiß said...

Great observations, like the last photo.

Frank said...

Interesting post. I never could understand the shooting ethos so hope the PFG doesn't suffer too long.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Shame about the goose (if people are going to hunt they should be better shots). The carrion eaters in your last shot are quite handsome -- a beautiful picture. We enjoy watching black vultures circle when we're in Florida, although occasionally we feel we should get up off the lawn chairs and move around, just so they know we're still alive!

BumbleVee said...

I'm sure I would have thought it a hawk if I had seen that Buzzard. They are beautiful in flight aren't they? ...

Poor goose...I hate so called hunters ... mostly morons in my mind......

Marie said...

So sad about the goose! Love the raptor shots. Earthworms...I had no idea!

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