Another hectic week culminated in a visit, yesterday, to the Birdfair, something every Birder should do, I do it about once every 10 years, it’s enough.
My main reason for going was to try out a range of Bins prior to any major investment, my last ones were bought 21 years ago, and whilst perfectly adequate I decided it was time to treat myself to an upgrade. My purchase duly made I decided to look at some actual Birds.
The first Bird to ‘cross the lens’ as it were, was a Hobby, closely followed by an Osprey closely followed by two more Ospreys. (What’s this got to do with the patch? – ed.)
Fast forward to today; up at the crack of dawn doing various errands and important stuff meant that by about 12:30 I was heading for a short siesta. Suitably refreshed, and Mrs. Prof heading out for some girly gadding, I decided that some paperwork I needed to do could be done by the back window, which by happy coincidence faces towards Walthamstow Marsh and Reservoirs. (better – ed.)
Did I mention the new Bins? Keen to try them out I lifted them and pointed them North, what should I see but….a Gull, but the Gull was having a perfunctory poke at…a Raptor, a large Raptor no less. I have not seen many large Raptors on the patch for quite a while, in fact it’s odd that they should be so conspicuous by their absence! I had heard that a Common Buzzard was seen at Stoke Newington this morning, and it’s jolly warm, so I was not surprised to see this one now, but what was it going to be?
Common Buzzard is the default large Raptor nowadays, though it was not ever so, but we are now in the ‘interesting zone,’ August-September is ‘Honey Buzzard, Osprey and better’ time, so all bets are off unless you get decent views.
The first views were of a darkish bird manoeuvring in a Kite-like twisty-turny way with pretty much flat wings and the occasional deep flap, it continued to circle and get a little closer but also started to gain height, though slowly enough for me to put out a tweet to the group and, as it went over my house and off South-East, another tweet to the Wanstead posse. At its closest I could see the under sides were paler than the brownish upperparts but no other plumage detail sadly, as the light was not right, if I had been able to pick it up going away the light would have been perfect but it was not to be.
Structurally, longer winged, longer tailed and, jizz-wise; flat winged, deep flapping wing beats and tail used in steering means I am happy that it was a Honey Buzzard.
In the last 12 years I have had four Honey Buzzards on the patch and a further six possible/probable Birds, the main problem being you can't make them fly in the direction you need.
15 09 0308 09 06 possible
15 09 06 probable14 09 08 possible x 2
14 09 0806 08 11 possible
01 06 14 possible08 06 14
22 08 15We are definitely in the zone, so keep them peeled.