Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Water Rail at Thompson Water, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Honey Buzzard - a great addition to my garden records

The 17th of September 2012 was the last day of my summer leave before returning to work, and being a warm sunny day, I decided to sit in the garden to watch for passing raptor species.
At 1345, I was about to pack up when a large, unusual looking bird of prey appeared in the north-west.  Immediately, I knew this was something different by the birds appearance. 
I raised the camera and started shooting, I could see through the lens that this was in fact a Honey Buzzard, later examination of the photograph showed this to be a dark juvenile bird.

The above shot shows the Honey Buzzard approaching the garden from the north-west.  A number of features of this bird separates it from Common Buzzard, this shot shows the yellow bill base, solid brown underparts, paddle-like tail, extensive black 'hands' and obvious head projection.

 
This shot of the Honey Buzzard was taken as it passed directly above my garden.  This silhouetted view shows the distinct head projection and the longer wings which separates this species from Common Buzzard.

The Honey Buzzard is a very scarce bird in the UK, so how lucky did I feel having this stunning raptor pass straight above me as I stood watching it from the garden.

This single Honey Buzzard would have eventually been one of several thousand Honey Buzzards and other raptor species flying south over Gibraltar in order to winter in Africa - a sight which I have yet to experience.

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