Monday, 7 September 2015

Unidentified bops

I managed to squeeze in just a short post-lunch trip to Maridalen today and realised on the way up that the ‘scope wasn’t in the car. I was in two minds to go back for it but thought that it hadn’t been necessary on my last couple of trips. Of course today was a day it would have been good to have one but that's always the way it is.

On the fields there has been a noticeable change in species. Meadow Pipits are now the dominant species with over 30 birds and I only had a single White Wagtail and no Tree Pipits or Yellow Wagtails. Wheatears (5) are now more numerous than Whinchats (1) and hirundines are now just in single figures although I did have a couple of Swift. All these birds could be admired easily enough with bins – what I needed the 'scope for was raptors.

The first two b.o.p.s of the day came close enough for me to safely ID them as Common Buzzards and these were clearly actively migrating south. The next 6 buzzard size birds though were at just too long range for me to safely say if they were Common or Honey. I suspect that 2 may have been Honey and the rest Common but can’t be sure. Until this year I would have thought it safe to have Common Buzzard as the default but this summer has been different and Honey has been just as regular as Common up until now. I also had two small falcons that were chasing each other around high in the sky before heading off south and although I suspect Hobby there were again just too far away. Three Sparrowhawks did allow themselves to be ID even at range due to their flying style.

Three Cranes migrating high and towards the South-East were a rare autumn sighting here.
The first raptor of the day was also the closest - a Common Buzzard (musvåk)

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