Unprecedented in almost 200 years
During the period (perhaps since the early 19th century) when the Honey Buzzard has been a scarce breeder in Britain, it would seem that no movement even remotely comparable has been observed before. Why in almost 200 years of ornithological observations, has no significant drift movement of Honey Buzzards into Britain been detected before? Certainly the Victorian coastal shooters would have bagged some if they had arrived in any quantities. Identification of corpses was very well developed by the Victorians and a quick look at specimens would have made identification very easy. In Northumberland we had very competent ornithologists from the 1820s (Selby) and surely the same could be said for some other counties from c1800. Broad-winged raptors were scarce in all eastern counties through the Victorian era so they were desirable trophies. In short the movement is not merely unusual -- it is totally unprecedented on a very long time-scale approaching 200 years, in which surely every conceivable weather pattern to affect migration will have occurred many times before.
It also seems surprising that such an unprecedented and massive movement in Britain should originate from a Swedish population that is suffering a decline and poor productivity Swedish Breeding Populations .
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