Saturday, 30 October 2010


Had a bit of a raptor fest this morning! I headed south to Commondale on the Cleveland/North Yorkshire border in the hope of seeing a ROUGH LEGGED BUZZARD. There had been reports of maybe upto four of these stunning birds of prey in the area so my chances looked good. When I arrived, a couple of local birders put me onto a total bonus bird - a Great Grey Shrike! I had no idea it was in the area and it was at times giving great close views. But I had been there literally minutes when the shout came up of 'Buzzard'. We all focused on the bird that had floated over the horizon and immediately knew it was a Rough Leg. Even from a fair distance you could see how pale the bird was, and also the long wings were very noticeable. This was the first one I had seen since the one up Whitley Bay way in 2004 so it was a bit overdue. The individual today was very quickly joined by a clearly annoyed Peregrine. The Falcon buzzed and harassed the Buzzard for the full 15 minutes that it was in the air, and probably followed it even when it went out of our view! Not long after, a second Rough Leg arrived from our right. This lingered around for more than half an hour, giving everybody wonderful views. Other raptors seen were a couple of Common Buzzards and a lone Sparrowhawk, which also faced the wrath of the angry Peregrine!

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