Buzzard over the high wood

Over the last five years or so Buzzards have been busily colonising North Norfolk. The hawks have bred in various local woods – copses with tall trees, preferably those mixed between conifer and broad leaved tree species – but this year they have moved into the parish. On this warm Spring morning we watched one lazily breast the treetops over Keeper’s Wood before settling on the tallest conifer. It ducked as three crows swooped and mobbed it. It then sat hunched as if waiting for the thermals to rise. We left it to it.

The word Buzzard is a satisfying one to say. I assume that is why it has stuck. As you might expect, it has a falconry connection. Apparently derogatory as derived from the almost untranslatable Old French word for “waster”, “carrion-eater” or something along those lines. The implication being that it was not a great falconer’s hawk, although in truth it was used to hunt rabbits although it apparently wouldn’t catch very many. I will look forward to the mewing calls, which I expect to drift across the valley on hot July days.

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