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Grey-headed Woodpecker and Common Buzzard

Common Buzzard.

I've now spent 4 more days in the hide since my last update. This means that I've now been there a total of 11 days this winter. This equates to almost 90 hours in the hide. I've enjoyed (almost) every second of it! Sitting there can be both frustrating and the next second so rewarding. You can sit there for 6 hours without any activity when a Buzzard all of the sudden appears and you get a big smile on your face.

During this winter I've placed out over 200 kg of meet and currently they feed at a rate of between 7-10 kg per day, depending on the outside temperatur and if they find food elsewhere. I'm therefore our local slaughterhouse's largest customer when it comes to bird food. By now they are not surprised when I place my orders almost weekly. Many thanks goes to my father who is kind enough to pick the food up for me and drive it to the hide and also my father- and mother- in law who regularly bring out food for the birds during the dark hours of the day.

Grey-Headed Woodpecker.

The Buzzard in this post is the third individual visiting the hide and it is probably the youngest of them. It's a juvenile, which can be seen on the longitudinal streaks on the chest. Adult Common Buzzard's underpart is instead horizontally cross-barred.

Not only large birds benefit of the food I bring them. Everything from Tits to Woodpeckers and Jays come to feed there everyday. They are usually the first to arrive and last to leave each day, only to be away when the Buzzards and Eagles are there. Even though I doubt the Buzzards care to attack the Passerines their natural instinct kicks in when they see a bird of prey. I've also placed food at about 5 meters from the hide, which is a perfect range for the smaller birds and a place they go to when other birds feed at the main area.

The season will end in mid March. Partly because the days are too long to sit the hide, but mainly because the birds start finding natural food again. I will go out with food less often in the end making the transition back to their ordinary life more seamless.  I hope they will remember this place next winter and visit the hide regularly for food and shelter. In February I will hopefully be able to spend 6 to 8 days in the hide. With some luck I might be able to get a good photo opportunity on the Golden Eagle I know visits the place. I've seen him or her in the tree tops once and I'm sure it's still there. Look forward to more updates in a few weeks!