Sunday, November 15, 2020

Buzzards and Kestrels

 When I first came to Durham 45 years ago, it would have been a rare pleasure to watch a buzzard soaring overhead. I could only be sure of seeing them if I crossed the Pennines into Cumbria or travelled into Wales. Now, I see them here almost every day. No less that eight circling overhead at once when I was walking near Wolsingham in Weardale last week. Maybe easy access to road kill, and the plentiful rabbit supply locally, are factors that have led to an increase in numbers?

While buzzards bred successfully and became established here, kestrels seemed to go into decline over the last couple of decades, although they seem to have done much better lately. 

I photographed this young bird hunting along the sea cliffs at Dawdon near Seaham, on the Durham coast. It must have hovered a dozen times without stooping on prey and it didn't make a successful kill while I watched. Perhaps still perfecting its hunting kills. They seem to expend a lot of energy for small, infrequent rewards.

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