Friday 7 April 2023

Marlborough Downs, 9 February 2023

Here are some photos from a memorable visit to David White's winter Buzzard hide, high on the Marlborough Downs near Berwick Bassett. Since my previous two visits, the hide had been relocated and fitted with a fully glass front window. This gave much more freedom when photographing the action but at the slight expense of always shooting through the glass. This was however specially imported from Spain and designed to give minimal loss of image quality. Note at this hide, you have to be installed well before dawn, and then wait inside until dusk. It was however a very comfortable hide, with a small kitchen and even a WC (the first hide I have ever found with one of these!).

Unlike previously at this location, this visit benefitted from intermittent sunlight from about midday, with glorious "golden hour" conditions in the late afternoon. With the on-line booking, I found I was able to wait until the forecast for a week hence was favourable. In the event, forecasts at that range are not very reliable and the morning was very dull and misty before it burnt off later.

From mid/late morning onwards, multiple Buzzards were present, which gave some opportunities for photos of them fighting over the food. The supporting cast included fly over Red Kites that were difficult to get onto despite the unrestricted window. There was also a confiding pair of Ravens present on and off almost all day.

To see links to more photos, go to this page on my website. Also click on any of the captions below to enlarge the photos.

A couple of Buzzards in a tussle, before the sun came out

Buzzard confrontation in the late afternoon sun

Buzzard fly past in great light

Another flight shot in the late afternoon

Perched Buzzard 

Buzzard on the ground in lovely light

Buzzard on the ground without sunshine

Buzzard close-up

Red Kite cruising past late on