I remember this day clearly, I was sitting in the garden with both my binoculars and camera at the ready because conditions felt right for raptor passage. The sky viewable from my garden is but a minute fraction of the total skies over the large county of Norfolk, nevertheless, my then garden species record stood at just over 100 species (birds seen both in and from garden) with raptors featuring as regular birds of passage.
It was early afternoon when I saw a large raptor approaching from the north-west, it looked different. Quickly I picked up the bird in my binoculars and saw it was a Honey Buzzard, it continued to approach and then passed directly above me at probably no more than 100 feet. I picked up the camera and managed a few shots of this very scarce raptor, further investigation showed this to be a dark phase juvenile Honey Buzzard.
My belief is that it pays to watch the skies this time of year wherever you are as scarce and rare birds do pass overhead during peak times of migration.
|Honey Buzzard (dark phase juvenile) over Watton 17th September 2012|
|Honey Buzzard (dark phase juvenile) directly overhead at Watton, Norfolk 17th September 2012. Note the small protruding head on this bird, a classic feature of this species.|