Diary of a nature photographer
Study, monitoring, research and photography about the Nature

Buzzard's life

After many time, finally I've seen the juvenile buzzard flight. I don't know when, but the important thing is that it has happened!!

After some months of watching and studying, making also some videos with a my new "friend", I was able to follow the whole breeding season of the couple of "my" buzzard. The process has been long and slow because I could go to check the breeding only once a week, and sometimes I couldn't see anything, maybe for the bad weather or because the buzzard there weren't. But let get started by the beginning.

How who follow me will know, I've put some post about the buzzard during the time, but this year my goal was to make some short video and take some pictures of the juvenile raptor. In fact, I've started to follow the couple just in March, the month where the buzzards mate. In some days I've seen them mate in a field or on a rock, so I was quite sure that everything was going well. In the meanwhile I took some pictures of them:

For the moment I can't understand who is the male and who is the female, because it's hard to see them together, and when it happens is only for a few seconds. I've got only one photo with them:

and the only thing that I could say is that the female is buzzard in the background because seems to be a little bit bigger than the other, and if I look for the head colours, the buzzard in the previous photo may be the female, but I'm not sure. I'll know only when I'll be able to photograph them together during a mate. 

In the month of May the activity around the nest is really intense, in fact a day I see something moving in the branches of the tree, and watching with binoculars I could see a little white chick!!  

In the red highlighted area, it sees a white spot on the right, but also on the left, even though is not so evident, but this tells me that there're two little buzzards, and this the first time that I see two chicks together in the nest. The quality of the photo is very poor, but I was very, very happy to see the chicks, and involved me to go more often in the nesting area in order to check that everything was fine, and mostly that anyone disturb the buzzards: in some occasion I have found some people walking in the area, and every time I asked to stay far from the nesting area, and fortunately people understood and stayed far.

Looking only with the binoculars often was frustrating, because my binoculars is old and not so optically good, moreover magnify only seven times, so I needed of something more powerful, like a spotting scope!! After some day I bought a new one spotting scope, quite cheap, but quite good for my needs: 

With the spotting scope, using an adapter for mobile, you can take some short video, like this, which it sees the juvenile eating

YouTube

I'm sorry for the video, I know it shakes a lot, but I was filming inside the car with the spotting scope over the backpack (that was in the passenger seat), and it wasn't stable, so every my little movement made big vibrations. For the next time I'll bought an arca plate to use with a normal tripod, in order to be much stable and easier controllable. 

Time after time, finally It arrives today, the day where the buzzards are all free, even if they are never together or near each other, but the emotion has been really big seeing these beautiful birds arriving on the perch or flight away. The juveniles are still clumsy, but I'm sure, they'll learn really soon. In this photo you can see the fluffy white plumage, that will fall really soon:

pretty different from one of the adults:

 In this photographic session, I was able to use the new tracking AF system of the Sony A9, and I've been really enthusiast for the precision of the tracking. In these three photos you can see the buzzard arriving on the perch from far: every single shot was in focus (I've got the whole sequence of the flight):

  

but the best thing of the camera is the silence: the electronic shutter is really, really useful in naturalistic photography because you don't scare the animals.

A funny moment has been when a Eurasian jay has come to see what was happening:

It shouted continuously, perhaps to scare the buzzard, but without much success. As you know, jays, which belong to the same family of crows, are really fearless and do not get scared at all even with bigger opponents.

For now I stop myself here, with the hope to see the young buzzards and their parents really soon, maybe with some new photos. See you soon.

Bye.

 

Proud as a buzzard - part 4

It was so long that I did not take a shot at my buzzards, even though I keep tracking them every week. In fact, during this period, after the young buzzard's flight and the beginning of the hunting season,  adults have become increasingly wary and often do not even get on the cutlery, while the young man has not yet understood what is the man, so he see more. There are, however, some really interesting situations, such as a morning when both adults were on the main ledge to quarrel, while their son looked puzzled at them a few yards away On Saturday 21, with the welcome visit of Cesare (Cece65) and his friend Sandro, I tried to put the mobile hunt in a recession of a long hedge, then I covered it all with a camouflage net to better integrate the shed with the hedge (I have noticed that birds of prey easily notice changes in the environment), and I must say that it worked so much that I could even think of creating a small stall in the bush, using branches and branches that the landowners they left not far from the hut. During barking, the buzzard behaved as usual, doing good or bad always at the same points, but always starting from the trees near the nest, a sign that sleeps near them at night. It is usually difficult to hear a buzz as it is rather silent, but having noticed a certain difference (my mobile shed) I have seen and felt more restless, in fact, only the young man lay down for a few minutes, while the adults they just overwhelmed the area and tried to land but they went away right away. The photo resumes the young buzz when the Sun had not yet turned on, but at least from a PDR slightly different from the usual:

 

Waiting the buzzard

And also today the wake up was for the buzzard: 4.30am for to be inside the hunt after 2 hours, when it's already night. But after a little time, she arrives. But I didn't hear her. She comes like a ghost, a moment there isn't and a moment after it's there, and you don't hear anything. Yet the buzzard is not small, indeed with its wingspan of about 120 / 130cm manages to sail even at low altitude, making its flight as silent as a Stealth fighter and making life difficult for its prey. Also this time no pictures of one of the birds of prey that fascinate me the most, having remained only a moment and then fly away, as often happens. But every time the emotion to see her is alway big and I can't wait to do the next stakeout.

Proud as a buzzard  - part 2

This morning at 7.00 I started the observation with the binocular, but I didn’t see any of interesting. In the nest I didn’t see any movement and I didn’t feel the young call (Who knows if it is ready for the first fly ?? Maybe he did it already…), so I looked around looking for something interesting, but a red woodpecker apart there wasn’t anything.

Time passed and there wasn’t trace of the buzzards, but around at 7.22 I saw one: he was on a rock at the right of a habitual roost. I observed him for 10 minutes then I saw that he fly on the roost. I followed his movements for about 20 minutes then I had to go away… The job waited me!!
The observation session was short but interesting. In addition to seeing one of the two adults I also heard a verse that was probably the other adult, but too far to be sure ... Maybe it could be the young, but who knows.

For the next observation.

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Haliaeetus albicilla

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