A Buzzard (Buteo buteo) and an unidentified raptor battling it out over Fenworthy Down. Buzzards, akin to our Red-tailed hawks and no relation to our buzzards (vultures), were frequent distant companions on my long walk. In the same place, another flew sentinel in the face of the wind swooping up the Down, seemingly hanging in the air for long moments without moving its wings. (I think the name “buzzard” comes out of the Latin buteo via the French.) Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe).An entirely different region means a whole new pallet of birds. It’s a little like starting birding all over again, for everything is new and unfamiliar, even the most common of species. Now, I’ve been to the UK before, so I had some advantage, but several species remained elusive. In particular, I was at a loss with the songs and calls.Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis).
These are all the birds I saw on this trip, roughly in the order I identified them — (asterisks signify life species): Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon*, Robin, Magpie, Rock Dove, Lapwing, Redshank, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Coot*, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Scaup, Pochard*, Mallard, Gadwell, Egyptian Goose*, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, Peregrine, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Swift, Sand Martin*, Marsh Warbler*, Wren, Blue Tit*, Jay*, Jackdaw, Starling, Green Finch* Ring-necked (Rose-ringed) Parakeet*, Pheasant, Little Egret, Great Spotted Woodpecker*, Barn Swallow, Pied Wagtail*, House Sparrow, Goldfinch*, Great Tit*, Nuthatch*, Coal Tit*, Bullfinch*, Grey Wagtail*, Marsh Tit*, Buzzrd, Tree Pipit, House Martin*, Dipper*, Chaffinch*, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Raven, Rook, Cuckoo, Wheatear, Collard Dove, Mandarin Duck*.This duck, along with the Egyptian goose, parakeet, and pheasant are all introduced species; the parakeet, P. krameri, was reported breeding as early as 1069 according to my iBirds UK app, which also reports the pheasant (our “Ring-necked pheasant”) being brought in with the Normans. A high maelstrom of gulls swirling above the moor, with another Buzzard in the mix.Some of those gulls later gathered around King Tor.Meanwhile, a Pteranodon at the Museum of Natural History.