09 April 2009

Honey Buzzards and trains don't mix

Unfortunately some of the really interesting stories get delayed, as they are checked and double-checked. This was the case with NLA 6124986.


This was a Buzzard found dead on railway lines near Ipswich, Suffolk, in August 2008. This was carrying a Dutch ring, which was pretty unusual, but even more so when we got the report back recently, as it had been ringed in the nest as a Honey Buzzard! Ringed in July 2006 in the Drenthe region of The Netherlands, this is only the third foreign-ringed Honey Buzzard to be found in the UK. The others were ringed in Germany (injured hitting wires in Kent in July 1973) and Sweden (killed hitting wires in South Yorkshire in October 1976).

Our own birds do move around a fair bit as well. A pair seen in south Wales in 2006 were both colour-ringed: the female was from Shropshire (ringed in 2000) and the male was from central Wales (ringed in 2002). Welsh birds have actually wandered quite widely, being found injured in Hampshire, stuck in a wire fence in France and shot to protect chickens and ducks in Ghana.

The only other foreign movements we know of are a bird from Scotland, shot in Guinea in February 1991, and a bird from Sussex, hit by a train in France in August 2007. Maybe Honey Buzzards and trains just don't mix! These are shown on the map, but we've kept off any possibly sensitive breeding sites, as birds do still suffer persecution.

View Honey Buzzards in a larger map

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