Saturday, 17 September 2016

Honey Buzzard

 Honey Buzzard- at height over the North Lake hide. The long tail, bulging secondaries and cuckoo like head are easily seen in this silhouette 
 The pale primary window is just visible in these pics. Roger's pics (above on FB link) show more detail (and the benefits of 500mm 'bazooka' lens). The barred juvenile like tail is shown in Roger's pics. Also the structure of the bird points towards a juvenile- with adults being much less harrier like with more bulging secondaries and even more characteristic general impression. Also the apparent pointed tail feathers and the apparent lack of any moult limits suggest a juvenile bird.
 Another dodgy pic
 Typical flat glide, with wings held in a slight arch 
 The upperparts show a pale area on the base of the tail, white primary patches and some pale area on the coverts/ mid wing panel. 

Just to wind up the dippers, a Common Buzzard appeared in exactly the same place the Honey disappeared. The typical pale breast band, shorter tail, less protruding head and compactness of a Common Buzzard is obvious. 
The local Kestrel not wanting to be ignored today too

With news from ex-Beddington birder Andy Taylor that seabirds were moving up the Thames (Greats. Arctics and a Long-tailed Skua past Swalecliffe), an Arctic Skua west past Rainham and seabirds moving all along the East coast, we were on Seabird watch at the farmlands this morning. There hasn't been an Arctic Skua at the farmlands since 2002, so one is due soon and especially considering the run of recent seabirds, hopes were high.

As usual, despite all the weather watching, news monitoring, modelling and tactical birding going on, we ended up seeing something we weren't even looking for and certainly would not have predicted in a blustery and cold north west wind- a juvenile Honey Buzzard, moving with the wind towards the south east (Basically breaking all the 'rules'). 

Instead of moving the Swallows were feeding around the lake suggesting that passerine migration was on hold in the much cooler conditions. This was reflected in a lack of any major visible passerine migration- just a few Mipits. However on some patches in North London 100+ Swallow were reported moving north. These migration lines/streams are clearly localised occasionally. 

Still on seabird watch from the obs and no doubt another vigil from the hide tomorrow, so fingers crossed. A local mega week at the farmlands- Sabine's Gull, Avocet, Kittiwake, Sandwich Tern and now Honey Buzzard- hopefully a skua tomorrow. 

Interesting to re-read this post from 2014: HERE
And here's a few pics from a mystery raptor a week or two ago: Mystery raptor

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