Buzzards

With all the hullabaloo (fully merited) about the reintroduction to Ireland of our long lost Golden Eagles (Donegal), White Tailed Sea Eagles (Kerry) and Reed Kites (Wicklow), not too many people seem to have noticed the perhaps even more wonderful natural geographic progression and increase in numbers of Buzzards.

Buzzard expansion is one of the real success stories of Irish wildlife these past decades. Once confined to the North East of the country, they appear more and more frequently towards the South and along the East coast. Indeed, some have even been spotted in the West, though this remains rare.

On July 30th, a person reported having seen 3 Buzzards in Ballymote, Sligo. Also in July there was a report of 1 from Corraundulla, Galway. There were additional reports from Sligo in June and Roscommon in April.

Anyway, I found this amazing footage on You Tube. I think it’s from Britain.

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Aveyron, France – Buzzards

I’ve been away from the Blog for a while, thanks to my holidays in Aveyron, south central France.

Buzzard

Buzzard

As it’s the harvesting season over there (and here, for that matter), I was afforded a really great chance to witness Buzzards over there in all their glory. To see these wonderful birds soaring over the fields where the grain is being harvested is a really impressive sight. Buzzards grow to ca. 55cm long, with a wingspan of around 120 cm when adult.

On one day, I watched 11 Buzzards over a field, twisting and turning in search of food, uncovered fleeing from the machinery in the field. They are incredibly flexible and able to turn and dive quickly. Thanks to a friend’s 7x to 21x zoom binoculars, I got really good views. In the good French light, I could really appreciate the colouration of both the underside and back of the birds. Beautiful!

Interestingly, on another day, I saw one solitary Kestrel hovering over the same field at the same time as 7 or 8 Buzzards. The Kestrel caught something; the Buzzards did not.

After such magnificent sights, I’ve resolved to getting a proper camera and lens for wildlife photography. Any suggestions and recommendations gladly received.