Sunday, 2 November 2014

Rough-legged Buzzards - Sleddale, Cleveland - 1st November 2014

It's been an almost lifelong ambition to see a Rough-legged Buzzard. As the Autumn starts every year, I always say 'Right! This Autumn/Winter, I will see a Rough-legged Buzzard!'. Having seen species like Amur Falcon, Scarlet Tanager and Short-billed Dowitcher, it might seem odd to some that I've never seen Rough-legged Buzzard, but they're really hard to get on the West Coast!
We turned up at Sleddale in Cleveland after a report of three showing well on the moor! When we turned up, there were three birds in the air. The first one I got on to....Common Buzzard. The second...Common Buzzard. I got a little worried, but as I got on to the third, it was skinnier, with longer wings and a pale base to the uppertail...ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD! Finally! We had super views of at least two hunting in the wind as they hung motionless on the wind.
When we decided to move on, I asked Matt to move along down the road just a little to have a chance of getting closer views and before long, we saw a Rough-leg right close to the road. It put on a real show as it played with a piece of turf/soil. Incredible views of a wonderful bird! Second lifer of the day.

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