Wednesday, 22 September 2010

HONEY BUZZARD is early riser

A brilliant morning, and at last a really good bird for the hills this Autumn. Highlight was without doubt an adult EURASIAN HONEY BUZZARD which appeared soaring very low ( maybe 60- 80ft ) on the East side of Steps hill at 0645am, several minutes before the sun came up. I suspect that it had just left its roost, as it thermalled up, but only enough to clear the hill, and then flew SSW over Steps Hill. If I'd been in the car park at the time it would have been straight overhead. Seems really early to get raptors but both Common Buzzard and Red Kite were hunting within minutes of this bird.

Passage of other stuff was not heavy this morning, a Reed Bunting ( not the Lapland yet !! ) passed over calling, mipits were low in number. 5 'alba' wagtails went over, but three of these together were seen really well and were Whites; several decent Skylark and Hirundine flocks.
A COMMON STONECHAT was on the fenceline on the Beacon.

At Startops Reservoir ( Herts ), no waders, but an obvious influx of 'aythia' duck with 29 Pochard and another increase in the Tufteds; still 2 Red-crested Pochard (Mike Wallen)

Nearby, Rob Andrews recorded a NORTHERN WHEATEAR at Pitstone Hill and the COMMON GREENSHANK was still present in the Quarry.

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