Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Saturday 20 April 2013

Ooooh! - it's off the post! (A Black Kite moment!)

Just for once the weather forecast was spot-on! The conditions perfect for some raptor movement on this side of Thanet. Although I had Emily for company, until 10.30hrs, the conditions failed to produce the "hoped for" result. A single Common Buzzard, just before 09.45hrs, being the best I could muster - even the local Herring Gulls failing to get excited about the appearance. It came in low, from the west, before spiralling up into the sky and drifting off south towards Pegwell.
Common Buzzard No.1 - obvious primary (1?) moult at the carpal bend; symmetrical feather loss
not being a hindrance to migration for these magnificent birds of prey. Slight abrasion to the tail
 producing a "notched" profile.

Emily was safely delivered back to Debbie, by 10.45hrs, and I returned to my vigil. Conditions had deteriorated somewhat, the NE wind had picked up and more clouds were scurrying across the blue skies. It wasn't long, however, before a group of three more raptors came into view. The lowest bird followed a very similar path to the first, the other two were at a much greater altitude and rapidly moved off to the north.
Buzzard No,2 - a tatty tail, but the wings are feather perfect. It is amazing just how much
detail is able to be recorded against a blue sky.
Camera to hand, I spent a while getting some images of the lower bird before turning my attentions to the two others - FU*K!!!!!! The second bird had a forked tail - binoculars quickly deployed. Two Common Buzzards - phew! I still need Black Kite for the garden list; I've been very fortunate to have seen three in Kent. My first was at St. Margaret's, with Tony Greenland, the second at Pegwell Bay with Phil Milton and Craig Sammells, the third at Grove Ferry in the company of Gadget.
Would you want to make the call? A Black Kite if you are really desperate.

The height was not helped by the fact that the birds were against some thick clouds, from my position, thus detail is very poor. I took just four images before these two departed fast to the north.
I didn't have a problem with the lack of photos - the id isn't up for discussion. If this bird had been "tail-gating" a group of Red Kites?

The two Common Buzzards, high over Vine Close, the second bird showing the "forked" tail
that we associate with "kite sp." Luckily my image shows the pale breast band and
primary pattern that rules out any possibility of Black Kite (Drat!)

My day wasn't finished - there were loads of insects around the garden and I managed to grab a couple of shots of an "Andrena sp." as it rested on the decking!


  1. Had probably the same bird over Cliftonville Dyl,great post btw, needless to say the score remained goalless.

  2. Baz,

    It was one of those moments! I wanted, so much, it to be a Black Kite, but I couldn't swing (string) it.
    Should have been stood along the Nash Road, perhaps?


    1. I just thought your post was so on the money on these tatty raptors that can at distance and with poor viewing conditions can clearly be taken for another species by the unwary (Buzzards and Marsh Harriers) I have seen each with tail forks and the like and I too have wished I'd been watching the real deal, 35 years solid birding in Kent and I've seen 1 Black Kite. I live in hope...