Sunday, 9 November 2014
Rough-legged Buzzards, Lammermuirs, 9 November 2014
Birds and blog posts are clearly like buses. I was searching for Rough-legged Buzzards today - it is not a common bird in Lothian with only about 25 records - but there has been a bit of an invasion into the UK this winter so far so it seemed a good idea. After a couple of hours in the Moorfoots and Lammermuirs I was beginning to doubt my decision. While I had seen some good birds (3 Black Grouse, 21 Golden Plover, 1 Whooper Swan) they were few and far between and the moors seemed to be fairly devoid of life. As it happens I was sitting in the very layby from which I saw a Rough-legged Buzzard in May - and once again I saw one flying along the same line of pylons interacting with a couple of Common Buzzards - and I drove the same 2 miles along the road to intercept it - this time not quite so clinically. It all felt like deja vu - although in an exciting adrenaline fueled way!
The Rough-legged Buzzard did not hang around for long and was soon lost in the distance. I decided to move to another spot and walk in to try to see it again. En route I noticed it back nearer the initial point. A little confused by its behaviour I worked my way back to a suitable viewing area and slowly walked in through the heather.
The Rough-legged Buzzard obliged by appearing over a nearby ridge and then working its way towards me. I sat in the heather the bird come over apparently to investigate me. Unperturbed it swept over me a few times and then hovered in the updraft. Unbelievably awesome views!
As if it couldn't get better a second bird suddenly appeared - and this made sense of the bird's inexplicable movements earlier. The two, both juvs, hunted side by side and sparred in mid air, much to my delight. Siblings from the same nest perhaps...