It's not all night drives to remote destinations you know. Just down the road, literally three minutes as you drive from my home in the village of Kingham and on the road to the next village of Churchill a certain bird has been causing quite a stir. It's a Common Buzzard, quite a pale one as buzzards go, and quite beautiful, certainly not sporting the usual dark brown plumage that is the default colour round these parts for our local buzzards. But this is not what is causing it to rapidly acquire celebrity status.
It has decided to sit, bold as you like on a hedge right beside a busy highway, well busy for a rural road, in order to hunt earthworms and anything else that may come its way from the field the other side of the hedge. The hedge conveniently has been trimmed so the top is square and flat just made for perching on. It sits there all day and nothing seems to worry it. The local bus, farm tractors, mums driving to pick up their offspring from the local school, even horse riders, all pass within feet of it and it does not stir.
It's not often you can get this close to a buzzard but today I took the car, using it as a hide and parked adjacent to and about three or four metres away from the buzzard. It sat stoically looking at me and then with a metaphorical shrug twisted its head away to look back out over the field for anything that might be construed as food for a buzzard.
|The Buzzard sits on the right hand hedge just beyond the triangular sign.|
Churchill Village is on the horizon
I sat in the car with the hazard lights blinking. The local bus stopped and the driver told me how it had been there for some time. Next, a lady with a car full of kids stopped and shared her joy at seeing it every day as she collected her kids from school.
The buzzard unaware of its rapidly escalating celebrity sat and I like to think pondered all the fuss. Long may it continue to sit here unafraid and unmolested. No doubt it will move on when conditions in the field change but until then it is bringing much joy and a pleasurable, diverting experience to everyone who notices and admires it. That surely is what our hobby is all about. Innocent pleasure in whatever feathered form it may come in and wherever it may occur, be it rare birds far away or confiding ones near to home such as 'our' buzzard.