Friday, September 18, 2009

Raptor migration - a good variety

As we arrived at the raptor migration view point at Buskett (a hill over looking a small wooded valley) a flock of 11 bee-eaters were feeding overhead. Soon after the first honey buzzard appeared and not before long a flock of 6 and another of 9 flew over and migrated against the wind. An Osprey, followed by another later, were the highlight together with a female Pallid harrier, the first this autumn. Together with the honey buzzards that continued coming mostly in singles there were quite a few Marsh harriers (total: 29)as well a beautiful Montagu's harrier male. As the afternoon went on the honey buzzards (total: 65) didn't migrate but the same birds circled overhead giving good views as they came down to roost. A sparrowhawk was spotted in the distance. Falcons were represented by 4 Lesser kestrles and two hobbies. Finally we also saw 19 Grey herons, a turtle dove, a flock of 12 Alpine swift and over 70 yellow wagtails. Although we could have hoped for a larger number of BOPs it was an enjoyable afternoon made even better by there being no hunting, very good considered low flying raptors are quite often targeted!