3 February 2012

A very tame Rough Legged Buzzard

The long staying Rough Legged Buzzard east of Hakodate this afternoon.

I got really lucky with this individual this afternoon, we'd ended up at this location after a long fruitless morning in Onuma and along the coast via Esan. When we arrived it was sitting in its favourite patch of trees.

Whilst I was watching it I noticed lots of small birds in the bushes and trees: Rustic Bunting, Siskin, Coal Tit and Hawfinch. Eventually it flapped off..........

Now at that point I was more than happy with these shots, easily the best I'd managed of this species. My wife wanted to take a nap in the car so I hung around for a while and it flapped back into sight and sat up on some wires..........

It was very tame and ignored me standing underneath it (Common Buzzards on the other hand fly off as soon as you wind down the window of your car). Then, as luck would have it, it hopped of its perch and started hovering low down about 10 meters away!

I had to zoom out to make sure it fitted in the frame. It also hovered in front of the only patch of blue sky in view, with the sun breaking through the grey clouds behind me.

Some days in this hobby we are lucky. Today was one of those days.

It had started off pretty poorly however. Onuma was really cold and there has been lots of snow these last few days. The pair of Smew has been joined by another male and there was an adult Night Heron on the same pond but it was impossible to approach them as several tons of snow have been dumped there. The tree where we feed the tame Nuthatches and Tits was also buried under snow, this was taken on the top of our car!

Not much else at Onuma, just the common species. Ditto the drive round the coast to Esan. Several Common Buzzard but no Rough Leggeds (except for the one in the photos of course), no Pine Bunting.

After the Rough Legged Buzzard we headed to a park in east Hakodate which was birdless except for this Ringed Necked Pheasant next to the road.......

So chaos in the cricket again, what a crazy series it has been, 16 wickets down on the first day!

Liverpool won, let's hope they can keep it up........

So it's still bitterly cold here, my feet were f*****g freezing again today. I quit smoking a few years back but all those cigarettes from my youth may have affected my circulation (maybe, I have no evidence to back that up with) and I suffer a little in the winter even with 2 pairs of socks and insulated boots.

Thanks for clicking this link.......



  1. Wow!! Congratulations on such spectacular Rough-leg photographs. I'd love to see one of these again. They look great hovering don't you think? The nuthatch is pretty cool too and that pheasant doesn't look real. Great collection of images.

  2. Great series of the rough legged buzzard. At first glance I thought the pheasant was a handpainted Christmas ornament, the colors are so pure and saturated.

  3. Thanks for the comments, the pheasant was real I assure you.......it slinked off into the bushes before i could get a decent shot anyway...........

  4. Most excellent pics dude...RLB is still an embarrassing gap on my list!

    Only minus 4 here at 6am but that's cold enough! No snow yet maybe tomorrow



  5. Hi Davo, I finally got my first one last month and after that I've been seeing loads of 'em.........

    When it's cold in England it feels colder than here, minus 4 in England feels like minus 12 here, I guess the houses here are better equipped for the cold as they have cold winters every year.............

  6. Amazing shots Stu. I am just so jealous, but you can keep the snow.

  7. Wonderful shots of the Rough Legged Buzzard in flight,and the Nuthatch.

  8. Wow amazing shots of the buzzard! I especially love the hovering series. The pheasant also looks stunning.


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