Wherever they’ve been, they’re back. We counted seven circling over the fields, while we were out walking today. The first hint we had that they were around and about was that strange mewing sound they make. It is a mewing sound in name only of course, it doesn’t sound anything like a cat and it sounds far more sinister than the image that the mewing of a cat conjures up. It is definitely a hunting call.

I’ve always wondered why animals give hunting calls, perhaps the idea is to panic their prey into making a dash for safety and so give away their hiding place. A bit like fanatical birders will beat the bushes that are believed to hold an interesting specimen – just to make it fly out so they can legitimately claim to have seen it and cross it off their list. Making a loud and penetrating noise when you are trying to creep up on someone always seemed a little counter-productive to me. On the other hand, if you were the one being hunted, you might not see it that way.

Looking around on the Internet for something new and interesting, I notice that buzzards rely on thermals for their hunting, preferring to hunt from a soar or from a perch. This being so, they are generally late risers, giving the sun plenty of time to warm the air up for them in the mornings.  I often feel that I could quite happily be a buzzard. I too, like to give the central heating a few hours to warm the place up before I leave the roost and we have had a few days lately, when thermals would have been appropriate. It’s just the carry on with the carrion the concerns me.

Perhaps a bit of road kill would be all right if you could have it with chips.

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