Durham Bird Club's Castle Lake Nature Reserve

Monday, 24 October 2011

Rough-legged Beauty

Bishop Middleham keeps delivering some great birds, this morning a juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard was confirmed over Low Hardwick and may have been the bird I saw last Thursday but naively assumed it was a Common, lesson learnt. Thanks to John Olley for clinching the i.d. and for putting me onto the bird this morning.
It continued to show from the raptor view point or Castle Lake hide as its more commonly known during the afternoon, hunting over the rough ground near the moto-x, frequently hovering, and as is to be expected, mobbed by Crows and occasionally by Common Buzzard.
This is the first ever sighting of Rough-legged Buzzard in the Bishop Middleham area and is an excellent record given the species preference for more upland areas.
I was never going to get a decent photo, if you use your imagination and squint a bit you might be able to make out the white tail with its dark trailing band. Seen here hovering into the moderate south-easterly wind.
Interesting to observe how it would not only hover low down in Kestrel fashion but also at greater heights as well. At one stage it looked like it was leaving the area when it drifted over the A1M west of the hide but twenty minutes later it was back over Low Hardwick.

Other birds at Castle Lake included the juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Redshank, 3 Dunlin, 117 Common Gull and a Great Crested Grebe.

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