On 24th of May shortly before noon two wildlife photographers (Mike Day & Alan Walkington) got the opportunity of a lifetime when they observed a raptor being mobbed by crows just off South Landing at Flamborough. They were able to observe the bird as it headed towards land, and they were extremely fortunate to be nearby when it collapsed exhausted on a Hawthorn bush. This was a close encounter with a stunningly attractive bird of prey - a Honey Buzzard. It took to the air again, and started to fly north around the Flamborough headland, but below the level of the top of the cliffs, so was probably unseen by any other spectators.
Honey Buzzards aren't actually closely related to Common Buzzards at all, and the head especially at point-blank range looks very different. These birds of prey are rather uncommon elusive summer visitors, mainly to the south of England, but there is a chance of seeing them in Yorkshire too.
Once this term is over we are going to spend 2 special one off dates looking for Honey Buzzards from a Raptor Watchpoint. The only Honey Buzzard we have seen so far on the course in 8 years was when a male flew over the Friday morning class at Spurn a couple of years ago. I don't expect we will get views anywhere near as special as those obtained by Alan Walkington & Mike Day, but hopefully those who book may get the best views they've ever had. There are plenty of spaces on both afternoon sessions if anyone is interested...
Honey Buzzard (c) 2012 Mike Day
Honey Buzzard mobbed by Crows (c) 2012 Alan Walkington
Honey Buzzard & Crow (c) 2012 Mike Day