Friday, 23 January 2009

Farewell Bertie

Feeding time!

Bertie on our Garden fence post

Whilst driving to work one morning just before Christmas - about 2 miles from home the road runs close to the Sound of Mull and its easy to catch otters playing on the shore - however this morning I saw something flapping close to the side of the road - I stopped the car and ran back - it was a buzzard who presumably had been hit by a car - I thought he was dead but as I approached him he lifted his head - I spoke to him as if a young child, reassuringly as I desparately searched for my mobile to call for help, grateful that I was in an area where we could get a phone signal. My hands couldnt work quick enough - all the time talking to the buzzard as he tried to lift his head - he then lifted it one final time then laid it down and his eyes closed. I knew he had died. I felt so helpless and wept at this waste of a beautiful bird - my husband arrived and helped me moved him from the side of the road, into the bracken - fly free now Bertie - sorry I couldnt do more to help.

I dont know what it is about buzzards - I really have a soft spot for them - I know they are not everyone's cup of tea - may be its because we have so many here and have the opportunity to see them really close - if I pass one on the roadside I just have to slow down - if you stop they fly off but driving slowing they dont seem to mind. They look so majestic sitting on a post. We are lucky to have one that is a regular visitor to the bottom of our garden. Recently he has been put out by a kestrel that seems to have become a regular visitor too. Bertie (as all buzzards are name in our hosue) used to sit at the top of a fir tree at the bottom of the garden - one day I spotted the kestrel dive bombing him until Bertie flew off. The Kestrel now seems to have taken over his roost and Bertie has moved to another tree. I've seen this behaviour recently at Loch Ba where a pair of kestrels were displaying and a buzzard flew across their path - they were not happy and really gave him a hard time. Given the difference in size I'm sure a buzzard could see off a kestrel but seem to choose not to for some reason - unless anyone out there knows why!

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