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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

A Day of RAPTORS, Including Odd Colour-Ringed BUZZARD


Whilst walking to work this morning...
A GREY WAGTAIL was calling loudly at West Herts College where Queesway (B457) crosses the river Gade.
The Grey Wag's alarm call alerted me to a Male SPARROWHAWK sat in the autumn leaves on the grass river bank, only 10m from me - it would have been a perfect picture but once it knew I'd noticed it it flew into a tree.
A GREY WAGTAIL was about in the Water Gardens between the Police Station & the Market Square.
I counted 85 CANADA GEESE in total at the Water Gardens, but no Mute Swans.
The Female PEREGRINE was still at her roost on the BT building - even though the light was still bad I thought I'd take a snap.



The ringed female Peregrine at her roost on the BT building


Whilst working at my office in Corner Hall...
A SPARROWHAWK was circling as I arrived.
A Juvenile COMMON GULL flew S.
A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL flew S.
At 10.00am a SISKIN flew over calling.
A SKYLARK called as it flew over.
At 10.40 I heard a SISKIN call again.
C.10 GOLDFINCHES were back & forth - the charm seems to be growing.
A Female CHAFFINCH was accompanying the Goldfiches in the Alders bordering B&Q - surprisingly I se Chaffinches very rarely at the offices.
At 10.50 a JAY flew N towards town whilst calling - another bird seen rarely here.
At 11.35 a Female KESTREL circled for a few minutes - only the second I've ever had here.
At 1.05 another SISKIN flew over calling.

As I walked home at dark, at about 6.15pm, there was a 40-50cm long PIKE at the Water Gardens, sitting still in the shallows under the weir, up close to the bank, opposite Bank Court.
A bit later on I could hear one or two REDWINGS flying over Highfield near Queensway.

Most noteworthy today though was the following...
At 12.15, 2 BUZZARDS were soaring over Corner Hall together for a few minutes, slowly drifting E. I then noticed that one of the birds had a colour-ring on it's left leg, so I tried to get a photo to record it. Due to the height they were flying, & shooting at an angle through double glazing, the pictures aren't great, but do just about show that the ring is green.
This bird also had quite distinctive plumage, along with angled trailing edges to the wings & tail, giving it a slightly odd appearance, almost like a small Eagle.
The Buzzard accompanying it, whilst looking more 'normal' in it's structure, did seem to share similar markings on the wings & tail to the ringed bird, if just a bit paler. This leads me to think these birds could be related.
I couldn't make out any rings on this bird but couldn't help but notice its incredibly pale, almost white, tail, with only a hint of russet where the terminal band would be.
I'll see if I can get any info about the bird & will post it here as soon as I do, if I do.

Two Buzzards soaring together over Corner Hall

The odd Buzzard with a green colour-ring

Close up of the Buzzard's green colour-ring

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