I’m not 100% certain what bird this is – it looks like it should be a bird of prey, but there were varying suggestions from an Osprey to a pale-form Buzzard. The head colour, tail length and wing markings made me think maybe it wasn’t a Buzzard, but it wasn’t near enough to the coast to make an Osprey likely.
Mum shouted from the garden that she’d seen a lot of birds of prey circling, but by the time I got my camera ready, they’d flown out of sight. I did however manage to get some blurred photos of one bird:
It’s not really close enough to tell, but it could be a Peregrine Falcon although some other suggestions have included Buzzard (although I think the colours are wrong) or Sparrowhawk.
As I was taking that photo, there was a sudden commotion from the crows – they were mobbing another bird which was flying almost directly overhead! It was moving too fast for a closer photo, but the wings had a light brown colouring when the sunlight caught it.
The crows were definitely keen on getting the bird of prey to move out of the area – I’ve never seen a crow in this kind of attacking pose before!
I always wonder how birds manage to fly so easily when there’s a strong breeze, and today was no exception! I spotted a bird of prey circling and took a few photos, but it was so far away and moving so quickly, you couldn’t identify the type of bird.
An hour or two later, I spotted another bird, or maybe the same one, and got lucky with the sunlight lighting up the detail on its feathers just as I took the photo.
Originally I thought it was a Buzzard, but this clearly isn’t – a Buzzard has a lighter patch on the underside of its wings, whereas this one has dark-edged individual feathers. Looking at the RSPB site, I’m pretty sure this is a Sparrowhawk.
I’m not 100% certain what bird of prey this is. I had thought it was a Buzzard, but the wing tips aren’t held out like ‘fingers’ in quite the same way.
I’ve lightened the photos to see a bit more of the colouring, and it is looking quite Buzzard-like, although it was quite a distance away which made identification a little more challenging!
The other thing that makes me wonder if it was actually a buzzard was the way it flew – most of the ones I’ve seen before just soar, with hardly any wing flapping. This one however seemed to flap its wings a little more frequently.
Spotting this bird circling reasonably high, I took a few photos thinking it was the local Buzzard…. but when I got the photos onto the computer, it was quite clear that the tail is considerably longer than a Buzzard’s. So just what is this bird?
I asked on the RSPB community “identify this” forum, and was given a couple of possibles: a Sparrowhawk, or a female Kestrel.
Personally I’m inclined to think it’s a Sparrowhawk – the way this bird was circling, was a totally different flight pattern to the Kestrel I spotted hovering over a field recently. Hopefully it’ll return and fly a little lower next time, so I can get a clearer photo!
Someone had mentioned on Twitter that a Red Kite had been spotted a few miles from here several days ago. I don’t know much about Kites, but the local Buzzards seems to have a wide ranging territory, so I’d hoped to take a walk in that general direction at some point, to see if I could spot the Kite.
As luck would have it, I didn’t have to go anywhere! Mum was in the garden and heard a commotion from the other birds nearby. Spotting a bird of prey circling, she shouted for me to come and look – by this point, the birds was still circling, but way too high to get a clear view with the naked eye. So, thankful that the rain had stopped, we stood in the garden with binoculars and a camera to watch, and I was able to get some surprisingly clear photos!
Unlike the Buzzard (below), the Kite has a forked tail – there are other differences, but that’s the main one I’m using to tell them apart. About 30 minutes after the Kite flew out of sight, the Buzzard was circling in a similar area, maybe trying to stake its claim on that hunting patch.
Until a few days ago, I’d not realised that a Red Kite could even be seen in this area (I thought they were mainly in Wales, where I’ve seen them on the Gigrin Farm webcam), and certainly never expected to be able to see one for myself from here!
The photos on this page are © Paddy (me) and are not to be used without permission.