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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Common Buzzard in the Fenlands of East England.

My wife and I have bought a house in the Market town of March, Cambridgeshire in the Fenlands. There are vast areas of open flat lands - fields everywhere with tiny clusters and lines of trees here and there.
 
One of the first things I noticed was the birds of prey. Mainly kestrels that are hovering everywhere along the country roads hunting rodents. Then I saw a rather bigger bird that made my heart leap.
 
It was the creature in the picture beside. It is called a Common Buzzard. I did not know this at the time as my knowledge on such fine creatures is very limited.
 
Since seeing this bird I have seen several, even as many as three along a stretch of the A16 going between Crowlands and Spalding in Lincolnshire. They are often perched upon fence posts along the A16 road as we drive to Spalding. I've also seen another, on several occasions, along a country lane called New Cut B1167 off of the A46 going towards another lane called French Drove and the village of Gedney Hill.
 
They become such regular observations that we keep our eyes peeled when ever travelling between March, Crowlands and Spalding. On numerous occasions, including yesterday, Friday 24th January 2014, we saw the usual three Common Buzzards along that same old stretch of the A16 between Crowlands and Spalding.

We decided to pay a visit to the Raptor centre today 25th January 2014, at a place called Pidely in Cambridgeshire, between March and Huntingdon. The common sight of so many birds of prey caused us to go. There were birds of Prey from all over the world and they gave us a display of falconry. The showed us six different type of bird, including an Eagle from South Africa, a couple of kestrels - one British and one American. But to end it all, they brought out a Common Buzzard for us to see. The falconer spoke of how their numbers were reduced in recent decades to the areas of North and West Britain, but since the 1990s they have began to reappear in the East.

I was tempted to call out, that there are a large number in the Cambridgeshire/Lincolnshire boarders, but he then went on tell the audience that the last time he spoke of how rare they were; no fewer then eight were spotted in the wild, surrounding the fields of the raptor centre. He then went on to say how they like to perch on fence post along the roads or telegraph poles, the very places we had seen them.

After our enjoyable afternoon, my wife 'Carole' and I drove back to see my Mother who lives in French Drove close to where we saw one of the Common Buzzards. As I turned the car off of the roundabout of the A46 onto New Cut Lane B1167 where the sign said Gedney Hill, I preceeded along the country road and mentioned to Carole that we should keep our eyes peeled. No sooner had I said it and then there was one (Common Buzzard) standing on the grass on the other side of a dyke, where the field ended. The dyke ran along the side of the road.

I said to Carole, "Did you see that, there was one by the dyke."

She had missed it so I turned the car by a field entrance path and drove back slowly along the lane. There it was staring at us with it huge eyes. We went back down to the roundabout on the A46 and returned once again into New Cut. Carole got out her mobile phone to photograph the wonderful creature, but as we got there, the buzzard looked at us and got spooked. He opened his wings and flew off across the fenland field. We watched it flying low for some distance before landing among, what looked like, small cabbages.

"I think we spooked it," I said.

Common Buzzards seem to be plentiful now in the Fenlands. We continued home and there were the usual kestrels hovering along the dyke of French Drove.

 
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