His royal shynessI like buzzards, but buzzards don’t seem to like me.
They can be found just everywhere, sitting on fenceposts along highways and farmland roads. From this high vantage point, they survey their domain in an everlasting quest for mice, voles and earthworms.

When temperatures drop and the ground is frozen and/or covered with snow, food is hard to come by and they need to use every single minute of the day to hunt for prey. Because of this, they are usually less timid and therefore less difficult to approach (by car).

Even in the wintermonths, I seem to deter buzzards. When I watch them from a safe distance, they seem undisturbed by other vehicles and even cyclists and pedestrians at close range. But whenever my unwashed, natural looking 4×4 moves even the tiniest bit in their direction, off they go. I don’t even need to open the window to scare them.

Yesterday, the odds turned slightly in my favour. I found an individual who was very aware of my presence, but kept its ‘pole position’ (too far for a decent image). After a while, it got onto the ground to hunt for earthworms, seemingly oblivious of my presence. Within some 20 minutes, it had caught at least 5. Then it flew off, right towards me! A bit noisy because of the high ISO and I could have done without the horseshed in the background, but hey, you can’t have it all.

Common Buzzard; Canon 1D Mark III w. 500/4 IS and 1.4x; 1/400s at F5,6 and ISO 800; Handheld