A question for the ornithologists. I have lived at Five Oak Green, near Tonbridge in Kent, since 1978. During that time we have seen the occasional Buzzard passing over. The last two to three years they have become more frequent, but this summer we see up to six at a time wheeling overhead and calling. They usually arrive about mid-morning and their wheeling flight carries them across, roughly west to east, but by no means always with the wind. This morning, for instance, they drifted at first southeasterly but shortly returned and disappeared, wheeling and calling, towards the north-west.
I am sure this will be attributed to 'global warming', but maybe some more knowledgeable person than I can explain why, what was formerly a rare sighting has become a, literally, everyday event. This is most exciting, but I cannot work out the mechanism.
Buzzard numbers have increased rapidly in the last few decades, both in numbers and in range. The main reason for this increase appears to be that they are no longer as heavily persicuted as they once were, combined with safer use and more regulation of pesticides. Although we still hear of the occaisonal prosecution of someone who has shot or poisned Buzzards, it is now illegal, and the reduction in persecution appears to be driving the increase in numbers.
Thanks for your reply. This all makes sense and it is encouraging that the movement against overuse of pesticides is having an effect combined with a more enlightened view generally. Now to save the bees!
We saw another buzzard wheeling and gliding over our home yesterday. What magnificent birds they are.