A potential County lifer, Rough-legged Buzzard, has taken up residence not far over the border in Nottinghamshire at Gedling Pit Top… indeed from the Pit Top you can see Leicestershire.
A text to Howard Broughton saw me picking up Howard and his mate Chris Hughes in Plumtree and heading over to the area. It wasn’t long before we were enjoying prolonged and pretty close views of this superb raptor. It’s strange but my best views of Rough-legged have all come in Notts.
I did manage a very distant shot of the upperside of the bird as well as a dodgy digiscoped shot of it perched that allow all the ageing and fieldmarks to be fully appreciated.
A distraction was provided by another arch-hoverer, though this time perched, this female Kestrel.
The whole area looks superb for wintering raptors, indeed the Buzzard was found by Darren Chapman while he was looking for the Short-eared Owls. Plenty of rough grassland and early woodland plantation will mean plenty of Voles to feed the raptors. Good flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare as well as plenty of Meadow Pipit should provide food for more agile hunters like Sparrowhawk and Merlin. A lone Hare was rightly wary with Common Buzzard also present.