Wednesday 17 August 2016

Buzzards making hay while the sun shines

vole spotting 
Just as sea gulls learned to follow the plough hundreds of years ago, buzzards follow the silage making equipment. They seem to know each operation; mowing, turning, windrowing and finally baling. The don't bother much when the grass is turned and spread in the sun but when the drying grass is rowed up ready for the baler and there are clear strips between the rows they are circling over the hay park or perched on a fence post.

It's mainly voles that they are after, small furry chaps that hide under the cut grass. As soon as there is some clear ground between the rows and less cover for the voles the buzzards are here. This evening after the bales are cleared and stacked the birds will be back patiently waiting. Their telescopic eyesight can see a rabbit, I have read, from a mile away so the voles don't have much chance when the bird is only 100m up in the air.

Fewer places to hide
The old cockerel gets a bit agitated, as soon as he sees an airborne predator he calls to the hens,"Oi... there's a buzzard up there" and they scurry away under cover.

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