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Plucking post.


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Yesterday I set off for a days pigeon shooting. Unfortunately others had beaten me to it and were in for a big day if they could hit them. Half expecting this I also took a chainsaw and axe and went down to the woods to carry on processing some fallen ash and beech. There is a large fallen black poplar where I’m working and a buzzard uses it as a plucking post, there is rabbit fur and pigeon feathers all over it. I’ve seen it there on various visits and yesterday it was not happy for me to be there. There was something different on there yesterday and I was surprised what I found. An eaten sparrow hawk by the look of it, juvenile probably.

 

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About ten years ago I witnessed a Falcon repeatedly stooping a Buzzard. The Buzzard looked totally spent, flying slowly only just managing to dodge each attempted strike at its head. I lost sight of them as they rounded a hill and don't know the outcome, but the local nesting pair of Buzzards disappeared.

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Buzzards are very much opportunists, could easily just have been sat in a tree and the spar land below it not realising it was there and the buzzard just drops on it.

I was once hawking ferreted rabbits with my goshawk and two kestrels were have a right scrap nearby.  They both fell to the ground whilst grappling each other and a buzzard appeared from nowhere and slammed into them, but both kestrels got away.

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Yesterday whilst driving on the a46 I saw a buzzard swoop and try to catch a woodpigeon mid air. The wife and I were quite impressed given how lumbering the buzzards generally are and that it only, only just missed the pigeon that did a fantastic barrell roll type manoeuvre to get away. 

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I’m not aware of Goshawks in our area, I don’t think there are enough large wooded areas for them,I am probably wrong. Buzzards are very adaptable, they clear up dead stuff, hover like kestrels and actively hunt. Some years ago pigeon shooting on laid wheat I watched  buzzards hunting the pigeons. They flew in just above the standing wheat and then crashed into the flat patches where the pigeons were feeding. Seemed to work.

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