But back to Buzzards. I had to go to North Walsham on Saturday last, and passing through Ridlington it was snowing rather heavily. A Buzzard was over fields to the north of the road, quite high up, and a Crow was intercepting it. I pulled over for a look, thinking how large and long winged it appeared to be, but was only treated to a rear on view as it disappeared into the mini blizzard. Coupled with the apparent size, the strange Harrier-like demeanour to it's flight profile suggested that it may have been a Rough-legged Buzzard, but views were just too inconclusive. I had no time to follow it up but later on, when the weather had cleared, I tracked through Witton and Ridlington in the hope of relocating it. I did see Buzzards, five sightings in all of perhaps four different birds, but all were Common. Brief views of a possible 'good' bird that has to go unidentified is a frustrating part of birding, but the moment still makes up a square in the patchwork of birding memories. Bob was out and about too, and he noted two more Common Buzzards over East Ruston. He also managed to find and photograph two that I had already seen perched in a dead tree at Witton as they enjoyed the warming sunshine, oblivious to the nearby barrage from pigeon shooters.
Common Buzzards, Witton - 13.02.2010. Bob Cobbold
Having seen a Rough-leg not too many miles away on the last day of 2009, it is quite possible that one is quietly wintering in the area, so I shall be keeping a lookout.
Addendum ~ The Buzzards kept coming! We had to visit Coltishall this afternoon and whilst passing Wayford Bridge I could see two Commons floating over the marshes opposite the Woodfarm Inn. Ten minutes or so later, as we were leaving Hoveton for Coltishall on the B1354, another Common was heading north, low over fields at Belaugh.