Long-suffering readers of this Blog will perhaps have realised that getting some good photos of a buzzard or buzzards is a long cherished ambition of mine. (My best effort so far can be found here.)
On Tuesday I spurned an opportunity to get some close-up action shots of a prey’s-eye view of a buzzard swooping.
I was walking locally, but a little off my usual immediate patch. Approaching a thin stand of mature trees I heard a kew kew and moments later a buzzard flew from the trees ahead and to my left. Then a second, smaller bird appeared from the trees more directly in my path. As I walked through the trees both birds circled overhead and continued to call. The calls of the smaller (and therefore probably male) bird seemed always to be quite close overhead, although I only had quite brief glimpses of it through the leaf canopy. I was soon into the field beyond the trees and was continuing on my way when I felt, heard – whoosh, and finally saw the smaller buzzard whizz close over my head. I didn’t see it until it had already passed over, but I felt that it had probably only narrowly missed my head. What’s more it banked, turned and swooped back toward me!
Calmly, I raised my camera and waited……..
Actually….I took to my heels! I don’t think that there were any onlookers, but if there had been they would perhaps have enjoyed the spectacle of a portly figure, bent double, arms waving ineffectually, running across the field, chased by the buzzard making repeated swoops low above my head.
The buzzard relented after perhaps 7 or 8 passes and landed in a tree on the edge of the small stand where I had first seen it.
From where it continued to call stridently. I didn’t take too well to my decision to stop to take photos and moved to successively closer trees…
…before flying back over again (at a more comfortable distance)….
…and then stooping at my head one last time, admittedly in a rather more half-hearted way.
Throughout the female had stayed away, but she now flew back into view, calling still, and the male flew to join her in the stand of trees.
It seems that I may have had a lucky escape.