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.