Thursday, April 7, 2016

Buzz-ard Off...

Okay, so I seem to be having a bit of an off day today but that's okay because I know that I'm going to have them from time to time. After twelve years of this I should know things like that and yet sometimes I wonder...

Usually I manage to drag myself out of bed and embark on one of my many projects by midday on days like today. Today's different though because I'm aching from head to toe as I often am, but today I seem to have the new and somewhat debilating problem of dizziness to contend with. I'm guessing the front room won't be getting that final lick of paint after all. Still, with the wonders of modern science I can entertain myself quite happily from my bed without having to move a muscle.

What makes this day seem worse than it is is the view from my bedroom window. As the rain pours from the sky I can hear the drops hitting the roof above my head which is never a good sign. Maybe it's just as well that DG hadn't planned to plough his fields today after all. One of the down sides of persuading him to join me in my scouting adventures is that farming often gets in the way, as scouting often gets in the way of his farming commitments. It seems that today isn't one of those days as the weather allows him a guilt free conscience, though it may also make for a miserable adventure bivvouacking in Killinthomas...!

On another note I can see the reason for the lack of small colourful birds this winter sitting in one of the trees at the top of the field patiently watching for its next victim. My closest neighbours just happen to be the colony of rooks that reside in the stand of sycamore trees outside the kitchen window. They tried intimidating him and failed miserably giving it up after ten minute despite their size and number.

This fearsome predator is a single juvenile common buzzard. I first became aware of him early in the evening in the Spring of 2015 while driving a nearby country road, he startled me as he suddenly arose in front of the car. With a broad wing span the sudden flash of his yellow tallons lead to my seventeen year old son exclaiming that we'd just witnessed an eagle lunging in front of the car! "Don't be ridiculous!" was all I could muster in return.

Try as I may, I've never managed to capture a decent photograph of this magnificent bird. I've crept around (in my car) reversing back and forwards, done u-turns and snuck back to the latest point of sighting, admired him from below until he tired of my adulation and flew off into nearby fields, thus blocking my pursuit. He is quite simply a beautiful killing machine and the reason my pretty feathered friends haven't visited the damson bush outside my window this winter. Admittedly I have failed to provide them with quantities of seed and nuts this year for fear of providing my buzzard with a ready supply of food, but that's beside the point!

It's kind of eerie to be sitting watching him for such an extended period. This is something I hadn't ever anticipated...

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