Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Honey Buzzards passing high over Shadoxhurst

For the last few summers my family and I would be camping in France at this time of the year and the forests we camped in would be the haunt of Honey Buzzards. In mid-August Honey Buzzards parties are easy to find simply by listening for the noisy, juvenile bird cries. So, we have an ear for the plaintive and far-crying call of Honey Buzzards and from watching summer Honey Buzzards in France I know it's usually the young birds that are making the calls as they follow their parents across forest and open countryside.

So purely by chance whilst in the garden this morning, I heard the distant calls of Honey Buzzards - and with the blue skies and high temperatures it did feel like summer-time France too. I looked above and into the skies around me and couldn't see anything. I grabbed my camera and went to the back of the garden looking south over Orlestone Forest, in the distance there were 7 Common Buzzards in the sky - impossible to distinguish any as Honey Buzzards. I watched them for perhaps 5 minutes before, luckily, they all soared back towards me.

Through my camera I could pick-up the longer-tailed characteristics of Honey Buzzard and captured a few pics to record my first Honey Buzzards over Shadoxhurst for a good 10 years. My only regret is that I didn't capture an image of a juvenile bird despite hearing, what I presumed, was one calling.

The pics for reference were taken with a Sony A6300 (24mp) @ 560 mmm on a Tamron 150-600 mm.

Adult Male (above) and Female Honey Buzzards, Shadoxhurst August 24th