Honey-buzzard in Cumbria and North Lancashire

County Avifauna

Source: The Breeding Birds of Cumbria, A Tetrad Atlas 1997-2001, Stott, M, Callion, J, Kinley, I, Raven, C, & Roberts, J, (edd), Cumbria Bird Club (2002).

Account: Honey-buzzard p.90-91 by Alistair Crowle.

Summary: current county population estimate (all sources) is 2-4 pairs.

Details:

Comments (NR):

Observations by NR

Area

Year

Month

Number birds

Number sites

Keswick

2007

August

1

1

Windermere

2008

June

3

1

Alston

2008

June

1 (migrant moving N)

1

Carlisle

2009

October

1 (migrant moving S)

1

Windermere

2010

July

2

2

Morecambe

2010

July

2

2

Total -- distinct sites

 

 

10

8



Area means roughly the land in a 40km radius of the named town or city.

These are very much opportunistic sightings in visits lasting up to one week at a time. It would be interesting to see more comprehensive figures if these are available.

To my eye much of the woodland in the South Lakes and around Morecambe Bay is very suitable, almost ideal, for breeding Honey-buzzard. The northern lakes are bleaker but there is still much suitable habitat around Keswick. A population of over 30 pairs in the area as a whole would not be surprising.

Multimedia for Honey-buzzard in Cumbria/North Lancashire:

8 July 2010, adult female Honey-buzzard in territory at site near Silverdale, Lancs, hanging in breeze (video reference 2010-658).

Video 1 shows expected plumage features for a female Honey-buzzard overhead, with derived stills 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11. Stills 1-6 show the brown head, grey bill and cere, all-dark fingers and long tail (equal to wing-width) with subterminal and inner band. Still 7 shows the long neck and small head. Stills 7-11 show the sparse broad barring (2-3 bars) along the inner primaries near the gap in the wing. The bird is not in moult but is missing 2 inner primaries on its left wing, inner secondaries on both wings and possibly a tail feather. In addition the tip to P8 on its right wing is damaged. It's very interesting how missing feathers are aiding the identification through letting light onto the underside of the wing. Lighting conditions at Silverdale were probably better anyway than in SW Northumberland with limestone rocks and clear conditions that you get more often on the coast. Wonder how many Honey-buzzard breeding pairs are known in Lancashire and how many observers on the nearby Peregrine watch have identified this bird!


Nick Rossiter 2002-2011

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