Hi and welcome to my Blog, my name is Paul Riddle and I live in south Leicestershire, UK. Back in August 2008 my quest began to locate as many local Little Owl territories as possible. The driving force was a reported decline in the uk numbers so I thought I would do my bit and conduct a study in my area. After 5 years and countless hours out in the field I have detected over 200 different sites. With a thirst for a greater understanding of the owls a more comprehensive monitoring and nest box programme then commenced. This also now includes monitoring the local and very sparse population of Barn Owls, please pop back occasionally and catch up with the life and times of my owls and any other wildlife that I come across. I hope you enjoy your visit!!!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Up close and personal.......

I have been doing this bird photography lark for a while now, and one species that has eluded me for any quality views and images is the Buzzard. Their numbers have exploded in recent years so they are seen on an almost daily basis, sometimes 5 or 6 together but getting close to one has proven an almost impossible task.I have had to be satisfied with distant views and record images only as they are always too far away for my 300mm lens, until now!  

A single bird has been located not too far from where I live that just doesn't seem to have a fear of humans. I have made several visits now and it is always located either perched up in the dead roadside tree or occasionally on the ground doing a bit of "worming". I can pull up alongside the tree and shoot from the open car window, the views and photo opportunities are brilliant but they are limited. Because the location is situated on a single track country lane every time a car comes along I have to shunt out of the way to let them pass, a real pain in the backside!

On Sunday morning the light levels were just perfect (the best since the bird was located) so I nipped over to see the Buzzard again, I was only there for around 20 minutes before I got completely fed up with the continual stream of passing cars, but it was a 20 minutes of time well invested.

As usual the bird was located on one of it's favoured perches in the dead tree.
 

It wasn't too long before it took flight, luckily I managed to capture this bit of action (below) before any cars came along!


 Once landed on the ground it was a matter of only a few yards away!



     It then proceeded to search out the worms in the mole hills. 


During the small amount of time that I spent with the bird it repeated its sequence of flying to and from the tree on a few occasions, this gave me the opportunity to capture a couple of diving images.



It would quite happily feed without any fear, it only seemed to take flight when yet another car came along and papped at me to move out of the way. 



This last image if easily my favorite of the morning, by a country mile my best Buzzard shot ever!


The continual stream of cars coming down the lane really spoils what could be one of the best wildlife encounters I've ever had. However I have now gained permission from the local land owner to take my Landrover into the field, but because it is so boggy at the moment I've got to wait for it to dry out, I hope the Buzzard hangs around until then?

42 comments:

  1. Enjoy your blog ,very much,Paul.I am a big owl fan but don`t have much luck finding them local.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Graham, thanks for your kind words.

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  2. I think that buzzard is using that stream of cars for the chance of roadkill, I thought the last image was my favourite but after seeing the bird worming, those images have blown me away.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Doug, I'm going out this morning on the look out for some roadkill for the Buzzard, be a nice change from the worms!

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  3. What a terrific set of photos, time and patience paid off, and its good to hear you have an abundance of Buzzards in your area. We use to have good numbers on our patch, but not any more the gamekeepers have seen to that, even in a National park, !!! no, Cumbria does not welcome Buzzards.
    All the best, Gordon.

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    Replies
    1. I think someone should hunt out those gamekeepers Gordon, such a shame not to have Buzzards up there in Cumbria.

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  4. Superb pictures of Buzzard.. Congrats..

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  5. Brilliant images, Paul. The last three images are my favourite by far.

    I think that this bird is a relatively young bird (paler trailing edge to wings than adult, and lack of broader dark bar on tail) and (from my limited experience) juvenile Buzzards seem to be a lot more confiding than adults.

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    Replies
    1. I had a hunch it was a young bird because of how confiding it is, but you have now confirmed that Richard with your ID skills.

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  6. Your blog is really enjoyable. Like all of your photograph.
    Trees Planet

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  7. Great set of Images mate!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. I am getting there slowly buddy, I think!!

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  8. Congratulations on some lovely images, finding the bird and getting permission to go into the field. Good luck with next time.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words and the good luck message.

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  9. Congrats on the great series of photos

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. Sorry Paul made a mistake and could not rectify it so deleted, anyway what I did say was, A fantastic set of images keep them coming.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Alan, I will do my best!

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  12. Terrific buzzard images! I love the last photo too :)

    Lou

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Lou, the last image is my favourite too!

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