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Buzzard in Dorset: what your tweets tell us ...

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Buzzard in Dorset: what your tweets tell us ...

The buzzard population declined dramatically in the 1950s when myxomatosis decimated the rabbit population. This decline was exacerbated in the 1960s through the widespread use of a potent chemical, DDT, on crops which had a major impact on small mammals. Despite these setbacks the buzzard population has seemingly recovered over the past thirty years or so and it may now be the most frequently seen bird of prey in Dorset. That said it is my perception, and I have no real evidence to support this, that buzzards are again declining in numbers again.

The buzzard is a resident Dorset species and numbers are probably inflated during the winter months by birds arriving from further afield and the weekly chart shows that most weeks produce reports of buzzards somewhere in the county but, strangely, there were no reports in March 2018 and just one report in March 2017. I will watch March 2019 with interest; could it be our buzzards are forced to leave us in late winter to look for food further south across the Channel? This does seem to be the case with the red kite so perhaps it is true of the buzzard also as the two are often seen in similar habitats.

The distribution map shows shows just how widespread buzzards are in the county, seen from the coastal cliffs in the south, across the heaths to the east and inland along the chalk downs in the north. The most reports are of the resident buzzard at Holton Lee which is frequently seen.

Your best chance of a guaranteed sight of a buzzard, if anything in the bird world can be guaranteed, is to go the heathland and woodland areas of Holton Lee to see the resident bird.


 

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This is just my nature note: for lots more information including distribution maps, status charts, identification guidance and more photographs go to the species home page by clicking/tapping the icon