Thursday, September 24, 2009

Skywatch Friday : Buzzard




While we were at Eraclea Mare, we went on a lot of long bike rides - through the fields, around the lagoon, and along the river path. On one of them I spotted a buzzard (buteo buteo) circling far overhead. It was a perfect day : bright blue skies with patches of fluffy cloud, and as he circled he passed from one to the other.



Buzzards are now common throughout Europe and also in various areas of Asia - there are estimated to be over 4m of them. Yet I don't think I'd ever seen a buzzard until a few years ago, when I started to notice them in North Germany. We go there each year for Christmas, and in the winter, when the trees are bare, they can often be seen as you drive down the motorways, perched on tree branches. But seen like that they're small, fleeting silhouettes. You can recognise them by their shape - the plump body and stubby tail (it is when they're perched) are giveaways - but there's no great satisfaction involved.



This time it was different. Despite the height at which the bird was flying, with the aid of my camera zoom it felt almost touchable. Definitely one of the highlights of the holiday.


Check out the other Skywatch Friday posts here. I had to wait a while this evening to find one worth recommending - but I did enjoy this one from Finland.


15 comments:

Barbee' said...

What a fine experience. I am so glad to see your photos, because I have never seen a real one. In the USA we have vultures and some people call them buzzards (including my birth family), but they aren't. I love to watch them soar and glide and float. I even did a short post about them a few years ago.

Liz said...

The weather looks wonderful and a great capture!

I saw my first Buzzard in my local patch over the weekend... Nothing too unusual about that perhaps?? Only I live just 2miles from a major city centre... Now that's strange!

Sylvia K said...

Beautiful shots! I do love seeing those big birds in flight against the sky! Inspiring!

Have a great day!

Sylvia

Julie said...

That closer shot of the buzzard shows the complexity of his feathering. A really fine series of captures of this elusive bird, Sue.

Regina said...

Lovely skies!

Gypsy Lala said...

I wish I could have this great experience too.

magiceye said...

wonderful captures

luna miranda said...

definitely, a good reason to look up.:P

Muhammad khabbab said...

What lovely pictures. I could never take as good pictured of birds as you did. thanks for sharing with us!!!!

jabblog said...

I think all raptors are magnificent even the Sparrowhawk which preys on the small birds in my garden! Lovely sequence of shots.

Autumn Belle said...

Sue, this photo is splendid. May I know what camera and zoom (accessory) you are using? I saw a bird in the sky with my naked eye. It was quite a beautiful sight. But after I photographed it, it was only a dot in my picture.

Lucy Corrander said...

Buzzards are reasonably common in the countryside round where I live (Dorset in England) but we've been walking around with our noses in the air trying to catch another glimpse of a red kite!

Barbee - Your comment about buzzards and vultures has cleared a misunderstanding for me. I follow a blog in Kansas - where the buzzards appear to be ugly creatures which chomp on dead cattle. I was perplexed. (We even had a short correspondence about varieties of 'buzzards'!) Now I know!

Lucy

Sue Swift said...

Everybody - a big thank you for all your comments.

Barbee and Lucy - Yes, the US use of "buzzard" has nothing to do with the "real" buzzard. I was confused too for a while, till I found out that the word was used to mean vultures.

Liz - Buzzard numbers are on the increase, so maybe they're moving towards urban areas as the more remote regions get over-populated.

Belle - my camera is a Canon Powershot A710 and I freely admit to not having the foggiest idea about using most of its features. but it does have a special setting for distance shots - you just turn a dial to a mountain symbol and click. Even I can manage that! All the photos were produced using that, but for the close ups I cropped the photos with Microsoft Picture Manager - which again is simple enough even for me!

kerstins blogg said...

Nice pictures :)

Maria Berg said...

Thank you for stopping by my blogg and I will put a translation gadeget on the blogg, I wish you good luck.

Barbee and Sylvia K and a few more are my friends from blotanical,

MB

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