On my way home from Glasgow this afternoon I stopped off at a lay-by on the outskirts of Glasgow (green belt). I was treated to a display from a Honey Buzzard. I am aware they're quite common around the area often mistaken for Golden Eagles, I've seen them in flight as well as on a fence post near to where I stopped off.The last time I saw such a few days ago the Buzzard was sitting on a wired fence post in full view from the road. This time firstly it was sitting way up on top of one of the motorway triple arc lights, then took to flight across the green belt tree tops, it was joined by a single Crow which very much looked like an aerial display between both following the same glide path no contact or aggression shown that I could make out. This flight continued for a good 10 minutes the Buzzard flew higher & circled returning to a post out in the field. I've been across at this spot a few times as I know that I'm sure to see some activity. It was a lovely sunny warm afternoon in between showers quite scenic with the green belt in the shade & the city in the near distance in brilliant sunshine with the odd cloud passing over. I was close enough as not to disturb this spectacle, I didn't have my camera on me but I'm going to arrange access to a near by area which I'll speak to Strathclyde Police (Wildlife Officer) firstly just to be on the safe side. What a peaceful & lovely afternoon just sitting on the edge of a woodland watching a raptor in flight with the busy traffic of the motorways in the near distance.
Wow! The UK summer population of Honey Buzzards is less than 100 pairs. A few breed in the North of Scotland though it's still pretty early for them to be arriving. Presumably you got a look look at the diagnostic features to confirm that it wasn't a Common Buzzard.
Still a bogey bird for me though I had a "possible" in SW France a couple of years back.
Not wishing to doubt your i.d. skills but are you sure it was a Honey Buzzard and not a Common Buzzard ?,you say they are common in your area yet I do not know anywhere in the U.K. where they are what you might class as common and as they are a Summer migrant it may even be a bit early for them that fr North.
A Honey Buzzard was reported over west Lancashire this week by a very experienced birder.
Quote from his report
HBs are now breeding regularly in Scotland, N Yorkshire, Kielder Forest and the Lakes, so like Ospreys and Hobbys, they are also likely to become more frequent and earlier on passage through Lancs.
His account can be found on Birdblog in the comments below May 6ths blog
Galatas got that on a rare bird service but it does not make them common,about 100 pairs in the u.k. in a good summer.We are lucky if we get 5 pairs at our nearest breeding area but fantastic to watch their "butterfly"display flight,hoping to go in the couple of weeks.The Scotish birds are in N.E.Scotland not the outskirts of Glasgow,it could of course been a bird on passage,if so a great sighting that warrants reporting to the local recorder
Did I say common ? I just thought readers of this thread might be interested in his report.
Fair point Galatas,I will say one thing for your local paper it seems to know more about birds than our local rag does.
hello, I'm not an experienced bird watcher, I have some knowledge but have more an interest in Raptors than anything. The person I was with a photographer I think RSPB membership? I met this morning again to confirm such & he did repeat confirmed it was a Honey Buzzard described the colouring etc.. I know Buzzards were released in South Lanarkshire area which connect with Buzzard sightings over on route to Glasgow short distance past Bothwell Services (South Lanarkshire) towards Glasgow & Common Buzzards 'are' common around where we were yesterday. I don't want to post an actual location for any other reason than to protect the area incase there are any Raptors nesting, hense the Strathclyde Police details, although I would pass details direct to the RSPB if that is of interest? The two images posted from the RSPB plates the lower lighter colouring of the H.B matches what I spotted. IMO a Buzzard is very much still spectacular sighting regardless of where it's spotted.
Common Buzzards are very variable - there are plenty around that are paler than that Honey-buzzard illustration. Honey-buzzards themselves are pretty variable too, for that matter... The tail pattern is important in adult Honeys (with the gap between the bands hear the tail-base and the terminal tail band - Common Buzzards normally show evenly spaced fine barring down the whole tail). Also look for the smaller and more projecting head, and (if seen very well) the prominent pale eyes and rather un-raptorlike face with no yellow cere or eyering. Juvenile Honeys are more difficult!
ETA - it's also a little on the early side for Honey-buzzard although there have been a few reports already this year. The main arrival is from mid-May.
hello, Aiki thanks for the gen & as per other posts thanks for the replies so far. I've plotted out details via Google Maps of the area & available to the RSPB if required. Along the road side to where I stopped & beyond I've spotted a few birds of prey. They're doing pretty well by all accounts. Well if I receive a 3rd positive I.D on this species I'll soon let you know.
I'm a bit mystified about the "Buzzards were released in South Lanarkshire area" reference. Do you know who was releasing them, and for what purpose?
JBNTS,I was confused about that as well,from what I understand the Common Buzzard is doing quite well in most areas (even in our "black hole"area )without any release schemes.I wold have though the RSPB or others may have made it public if there was such a big release scheme of a raptor.Also,as Aiki says it is a little early yet for them to be so far North even though as Galatas pointed out there was a report of one in Lancashire very recently.The usual birds have not been reported yet from our local viewpoint could be bad weather has held them up.
David if you have all the coordonates it might be wise to pass them to the RSPB or your local Wildlife Trust as nesting Honey Buzzards may need extra protection
Yo Seaman. Scotland has been up to its eyes in Common Buzzards for as long as I can remember. I can't see any possible justification for going to the trouble and expense of releasing Honey Buzzards. Even setting aside the huge issues of logistics and "administration", they're gradually colonising with no help at all.
David - There isn't any chance of confusion regarding "releases" with Red Kites is there?
Confusion over the Honey Buzzards. The Honey Buzzard 'wasn't' released into the area, only alleged sighting as per details which maybe an early visitor, so hopefully no mass exodus to Glasgow looking for a phantom sighting, maybe good for the tourist board visit Scotland. Until I can confirm via a 3rd party or more, only myself & a car passenger were present on the day near Glasgow as per post which I was informed was a Honey Buzzard by the passenger. Red Kites as far as I'm aware were released at a location further South part of South Lanarkshire which I'm sure was also a secret location involving Wildlife Officers & of Strathclyde Police. Seaman I've sent a copy of the Google map/coords of the route taken & locations pin pointed of sightings of Buzzards in the area as per your details of protection, this is why I'm cautious about uploading for now the map via the forum. I could also add other birds of prey/raptor sightings same area, but for now I'll keep it to the Buzzards. Details sent to RSPB Glasgow & received a reply with other details earlier this evening which are being passed on to the relative authorities. Thanks to all the forums expertise on the matter very much appreciated.
To me that seems like a good move David,certainly not a good idea to put sensitive info on an open forum.