Evening of May 17, 2018

Today I watched buzzards.

The first came across the top field about 150ft high. The wind was up and every 30 seconds or so it turned into the breeze, arched itself over so that its tailfeathers bent forward and shook in a hover. It did this 3 or 4 times before flying out of sight. I thought it may stoop but I think it was simply enjoying blowing the cobwebs away. It was big, so I reckon female.

Then I watched two more buzzards – the pair I see regularly – circle up out of the lower field followed by a handful of noncommittal crows. The buzzards circled high on a thermal into the sun, leaving the pack of crows behind them. One was dark, and bigger, the second lighter with pale tail feathers that the sun appeared to be shining through. Behind the buzzards two contrails crossed. In front of everything the floaters in my eyes distractedly slid down.

Finally another buzzard (or the first after a large reverse-circle) flew across the lower field but was hassled into a slow retreat by a gang of crows and magpies. The buzzard flew close to the woods so that its shadow fell on the leaves. As I watched I was reminded of days spent on the lake in Virginia rowing my canoe as close to the shore as I could without touching either bottom or side. Hiding from Nothing. Eventually the bird flew into the trees and I lost sight.

The leaves in the wood today were at peak green, same too on the ancient oaks in the lower field. Hawthorn blossom is also at a max, and the thick, long grass would turn a tiger herbivore. Mostly though it was a great day for buzzards.