In November 2021 I was lucky enough to spend a day in this excellent hide, with some phenomenal sightings of the Common Buzzard and Red Kite. 

It was a full day, arriving at 06:30 and staying until after dusk. During that time I had a variety of weather and light conditions, from heavy mist, a gorgeous pastel sunrise, grey skies, dull and dark, to short intervals of bright sunshine. 

I used four different bodies: EOS 1DXII, EOS 5DIV, EOS 5DIII, and EOS 7DII; plus three lenses: 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 with a 1.4x extender, a 300mm f/2.8, and a 600mm f/4. 

The 600mm lens proved to be way too tight to capture this little squabble. I still love this image though. 

Pre-dawn mist. The first of many buzzards to arrive.

Just landed.

"You looking at me?"

"Don't you dare come near me!"

"It's thirsty work, this."

"This is MY food!"

"Just a quick shower"

Watching. Always watching. 

"Haven't you finished yet?"

A buzzard trying - unsuccessfully - to turn his dinner from a dine-in to a take-away. 

A cheeky magpie seizes an opportunity to steal a tasty morsel of meat.

Look at the gorgeous feathers on the pheasant! 

The red kites were most definitely the underdogs, but that didn't seem to stop them from trying to get to the food.

"Keep away from my food!"

After many attempts, the magpie manages to get away with a little something; although it looks more like feathers than meat to me. 

A red kite chased off by a buzzard.

A buzzard taking a bath in a small pond.


Nobody likes spectators when having a bath! 

"Oh, sod it, I'm going to have a bath anyway!"

I love the look on the face of the guy at the back!

This may look like the start of a warm embrace, but it certainly isn't a friendly greeting.

"May I have the next dance, please?"

"I'm the boss here, and you'd better know it!"

An unexpected lifer: Corn Bunting!

Feathers fly as the buzzard sees off the kite.

How's this for a cutie?


A red kite spitting feathers as he plucks the pheasant ready to eat.

To finish off I'd like to share my rogue's gallery. I have always been fascinated with the large variety of plumage on buzzards, and I am pretty sure each and every one of these images represents a different bird, all seen in the one day at the Raptor Hide.

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