Game birds?


They’ve been tormenting me for weeks. Every morning as I drive to work, the buzzards line up on fence and hedgerow along a three mile stretch of the A41. It is a stretch of road where there are few places to legally or safely stop and I know every one of them. The buzzards appear to do so too. “Buzzards as big as bears“, wrote Stuart after they had attended our journey to Glastonbury a few weeks ago… and they appear to be when they are looking at you as you drive past, frustrated by the traffic and unable to stop.

Every day they have been sitting where they knew I could stop and grab a photograph… except on the days when I had the camera beside me. On those days, they infallibly choose to park themselves at spots where stopping is impossible. The herons have been doing it too. So have the kites. Only the robins have been their usual obliging selves. Until yesterday.


The buzzard flew in just as I was approaching the one place to stop. On any other morning, I would have been obliged to sail on past and sigh…but the schools are closed for half term and the roads were quiet enough for a bit of sneaky manoeuvring. The buzzard did not seem too pleased about having lost a round in our ongoing game. Usually, they win every time. I still missed the heron a mile down the road… Then, lo and behold, a couple of hours later, I got a red kite too!

The thing is, you don’t really get a sense of the size on a photo. These were snapped rapidly from relatively close quarters and they look as if they could be pigeon-sized…but they are huge. The buzzard looks bigger and bulkier… but although a full-grown adult will weigh about the same, the red kite is by far the bigger bird with a wingspan around as wide as I am tall.


The other part of the game is that you will never see them if you are looking for them, even when you know their regular haunts. Camera or not, even if you only set out with the intention of keeping your eye open for buzzards, the world is a buzzard-free zone.

The kites are usually soaring overhead, at least down here in the south, but buzzards could be as rare as unicorns if you are scanning the sky and hedgerows for them. They only appear when they choose. Which makes every sighting a gift. It is always a reminder too that some things cannot be expected, only accepted gratefully when they fly into your life.


About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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54 Responses to Game birds?

  1. blosslyn says:

    We saw one on Sunday, just sat on the fence and as you say they are huge, grabbed the camera, but he had opened his wings, got one photo, beautiful birds πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Something’s afoot… πŸ™‚


  3. We have some near us that are always getting bombarded by the local crows.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Life is so like that. πŸ™‚


  5. Widdershins says:

    They’re just teasing you. πŸ˜€


  6. KL Caley says:

    Fabulous pictures Sue. Makes you appreciate it all the more when you have to work so hard to capture that perfect moment. Great Post! KL ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jenanita01 says:

    Not much hope for the world, if the birds cannot live in peace either…


  8. Fantastic pictures Sue. What majestic birds, makes one appreciate them and it must be so difficult to capture them at the right time. Superb post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The red kites are impressive. It’s rare we get them, but we have masses of black kites in the summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bernadette says:

    In New Jersey we have big, ugly turkey buzzards that swoop down in front of your car and just block the road.


  11. I’ve never seen a buzzard (we don’t have them) so this picture was most welcome. My, the size of their feathers are even scary. Still, they do look rather regal. πŸ™‚


    • Sue Vincent says:

      They are gorgeous birds, Tess…and far bigger than they look in the pictures. It is hard to give a sense of scale, but their wingspan and my height are roughly equal. ❀


  12. Wow!!! Amazing photos! It looks like you’re standing right next to them!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mary Smith says:

    Great photos, Sue. A friend who cycled every day to her nearest village for the paper had to keep an eye out for what she called Asbo Buzzard as he tended to swoop at her as she cycled along. He never hurt her so I guess he was just playing or very interested in her bicycle.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Lucky you, Sue, to get such great pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You’re so lucky! They’re amazing and the photos are brilliant πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. tiramit says:

    These creatures are amazing; “you will never see them if you are looking for them”, sounds like and seems like they exist on the edge of our reality. The image, red-kite-1, and also red-kite-3, like an illustration in a picture book…


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