A bit of a change from the felt/sew/craft post today, and more of a ‘life in the country’ one…
The sight of buzzards (a type of hawk, Latin name Buteo Buteo) is now very familiar to most Scots in the countryside, and their circling and ‘mewling’ sort of cry is instantly recognisable. They like scattered woodland and we see them frequently overhead when we’re hanging washing, hurumphing in logs, and so on. They aren’t like your wee garden robin and generally maintain their great distance!
A few weeks ago I was in the living room one morning when I heard a muffled thwump at the window, and caught sight of something out of the corner of my eye hurtle towards the ground. I rushed over to the window, which is a large single glazed sash window that starts at about knee height. On the ground about two feet away from the window was a large buzzard, very dead pigeon under its talons, wings spread ‘mantling’ its catch to hide it from predators that might be above. It looked at me and I looked at it, quite astonished- I have seen birds of prey at falconry centres but a wild one is quite different! I called for Oli and Sol who came running down in time to see it before it took off. Nothing left but a pile of feathers and blood on the ground, and a pigeon-shaped mark on the window!
It was one of those amazing, unexpected and unrepeatable natural experiences, a real treat. Or so I thought- this morning I was bundling Sol into layers of fleece and wool in anticipation of a dash to the bus when I heard another muffled thwump, this time from an upstairs window. I though it was perhaps a small bird colliding with the glass. But when we went outside a few minutes later there was the pile of feathers and on the bedroom window a wing-shaped smudge – it would appear pinning hapless pigeons against our house is the buzzard’s modus operandi! I don’t think they need to eat for quite some time after a large kill so I will keep an ear and eye out for another catch in future… just as long as the buzzard uses the double glazed upstairs windows and not the rattling, putty-free, Victorian holey downstairs ones. Giant hawk and bloodied pigeon in my living room I am not up for.