Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Rough-legged Buzzard


This morning a small team of us decided to try a ringing session at Brixworth Sewer Works. The weather forecast was changeable and we weren't sure if the impending rain was going to disrupt our efforts. Although the overall catch numbers were not high, quality was in the form of four Meadow Pipits, a Pied Wagtail, a Grey Wagtail, a Magpie, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and four Goldcrests.

However whilst we were in the process of checking nets, a raptor appeared just to the west of the site, slowly spiralled up and gently drifted off to the south-west. A stunning juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard! Looking more like a tiny Golden Eagle than a buteo, the bird exhibited proportionately slim wings, was long-bodied and of course displayed the bright white upper tail and dark terminal band, black carpal patches, dark lower abdomen and overall cold plumage tones with a pale head. We were all a touch stunned as the local status of this species is certainly rare; hopefully this may be the forerunner of other sightings as a good number of Rough-legs have been spotted this autumn to the east and north of us.

An adult Yellow-legged Gull later flew over the site towards Pitsford Res.

Eleanor in the meantime was at Blueberry Farm and notched up a pair of Stonechat on the north side of the complex with another pair in the southern-most field. A Grey Plover flew over calling in an easterly direction and a female Merlin caught a passerine. The Short-eared Owl was still in the southern-most field.

At lunch-time visit to Harrington Airfield yielded large numbers of passerines which included good numbers of Linnets and Yellowhammers. Six Bramblings were present and a Short-eared Owl was flushed from the airstrip. Two Ravens were also present.


Neil M


Grey Wagtail

Meadow Pipit

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