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buzzard hovering

They are beautiful, graceful birds, soaring so high in the sky, with eyesight as sharp and powerful as ours – when looking through powerful binoculars.

See the true beauty

To stand and stare at these awesome creatures in the tranquil silence of the early morning is just... mesmerising. But, if that is all you do – you will never get up close enough to see their real beauty and majesty. So how do you do that? Binoculars, of course, but a very poor substitute for the real thing. And what is the real thing? To touch one of these magnificent creatures. To actually hold one and let them fly off and come back to you. Not many people get that opportunity. OK, so some of us do if we visit a bird sanctuary/wildlife park and do it under the supervision of an experienced bird handler (and I heartily recommend the experience). But to do it in the wild? Now that is something else!

Holding Buzzards up close

To handle one of these birds 'in the wild' is a truly awesome feeling. And yes, I have – but only because of my youngest son (David). The youngest of our brood, he was the one who took to the 'call of nature' the most naturally out of all six of us. He was really in his element in the countryside (he is an artist now that he is all grown up).

How to get interested

David's fascination with buzzards – and birds of prey in general – led us to visiting wild life parks and bird sanctuaries in the area – of which there were/are several. Good, informative, educational experiences – but nothing like the real thing. And nothing but the real thing would do for David! But no, we never went 'the whole hog' and got into it ourselves. Some of my friends and one of his uncle's brothers did though. And so, because of my connections, David eventually did experience 'the real thing' for a couple of years. Hardly ever saw him at weekends during that period – up and out at dawn and not back till dusk.

Check out Jimmy's blog here.

Meet The Author...
Jimmy Bates
Who Am I?

A grammar school boy from a working class family, Jimmy Bates has had a chequered career. Before becoming a writer he worked in a variety of jobs, then graduated with an honours degree in electronics, emigrated and became a scientist in Canada and then a director of the same hi-tech company in the U.S.A. He returned to England in 1980 and spent 25 years as a management consultant and held directorships of several high-technology companies before retiring and taking up writing full-time. His interests are history, sociology, science & technology and music. He was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, spent all of his school years in Stoke-on-Trent, is married has six children (all grown up now), four grandchildren and has lived in Herefordshire for the past 25 years. His books (www.jimmybates.com) include:

My Blog...


ONE WRONG TURN: The amazing story of how one single bullet started The First World War

Are You Still Quizzical Joan?: How to run successful quiz nights and raise money for charity

SatNav Rules, OK?: A humorous novel of how modern technology can affect modern society

Fancy a Game of Darts Our Youth? A step-by-step guide on how to play (including humorous personal anecdotes)

Kick out the Brits!: A real-life family ‘US road trip of-a-lifetime’

To Death and Beyond: Short stories of real near-death experiences


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A 3-book fictional story of a serial killer

The Last Scrap: Factual account from turbulent teenage years to a caring father-figure to the next generation.

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