Rough-legged Buzzard

Life is all about making choices. Bad ones or good ones, and sometimes bad choices turn out to be good ones…

Yesterday I was watching a soccer game at a friend’s place. We planned to have a drink in town and maybe visit some other places. A bit later the conversation turned to the unprecedented numbers of migrating Rough-legged Buzzards in the Netherlands. Rough-legged Buzzards are normally a scarce winter visitor but yesterday several tens were seen at several places. We decided to go to Schiermonnikoog the next morning. Going out one evening and going birdwatching the next morning isn’t a very good combination. We decided just to have a few drinks and to go home early so we could take the early morning bus. But well, you know how things go… One drink, another, a few more and suddenly it’s way too late… After only 2 hours of sleep, my alarm clock rang already. Even though I didn’t feel too good, I got out and got into the bus. When we crossed the first dune on Schiermonnikoog, we already saw our first Rough-legged Buzzard. Most of the day we spent sitting on a dune, enjoying the sun and all the Rough-legged Buzzards around us. The count stopped at 31, a number I’ve never seen before in one winter, and now it was in only 4 hours… At one time we had 5 different birds in the same binocular view.

Sitting on the dune we decided we made all the right choices: we have had a great evening out and a great day of bird watching as well (and now it’s time to sleep….).

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

One comment

  • Nice Rough-legged Hawk photo. Looks to be a female, 2+ years old. Luckily raptors aren’t always such early morning birds as many of the smaller birds can be… Gives folks with a hang over a fighting chance of seeing them.


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