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Andrew Rowlands
Saturday 4th October 2003, 18:37
Hi all,
http://www.nrossiter.supanet.com/hb/id.htm
New? page with links to photographs and sound of Honey Buzzards in Germany, Finland, Scotland and Northumbria.

Comments please :)

Andy.

Michael Frankis
Saturday 4th October 2003, 19:05
Hi Andy,

Can you check the link address please - it doesn't work for me

Can vouch for Nick Rossiter though, the stuff on the website will be reliable.

Michael

SammyB
Saturday 4th October 2003, 19:09
Hi this is my first post & I could not get this to work either
Could have done with this info as looking for Honey Buzzard over at Harty Ferry Kent today
told by other birders it was around but did not see. SOB
nevermind saw Grey Plover and Bearded Tit today both firsts for me!!!
very happy!

Andrew Rowlands
Saturday 4th October 2003, 19:10
http://www.nrossiter.supanet.com/hb/id.htm

logos
Saturday 4th October 2003, 19:34
Haven't looked at all of the pics, some are unidentifiable to me, but some of them (labelled as adults) appear to show juvenile Common Buzzards: i.e.

http://www.n-a-rossiter.supanet.com/hb/hb%20Staufen%201%20aug%202002%208.jpg

While some others said to have been taken in May show birds in the early stages of primary moult and are therefore not Honey Buzzards either.

Spud

Michael Frankis
Saturday 4th October 2003, 19:34
Hi Andy,

Thanks! - works now

Michael

Andrew Rowlands
Saturday 4th October 2003, 23:19
Logos,

no fooling you, is there!

But what is going on there?

If the page was dated April 1st, perhaps we could laugh it off. This person purports to be doing some 'serious' study of Honey Buzzards. This web page surely calls into question Mr. Rossiters identification skills. How many times has this person really seen Honeys? - if any?

Michael - have you any field experience with Nick?

Puzzled,

Andy.

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 00:07
Welcome to Bird Forums, Nick Rossiter!

I noticed that you had joined up just after midnight and that you were browsing the Birds of Prey forum around midnight-thirty.

If you need some pointers on the finer points of raptor identification I'm sure I can find someone to help you out!

Please come and introduce yourself on Bird Forums, we can be quite helpful.

I did enjoy reading your article questioning the origin of the influx of Honeys a couple of years ago, some parts of your paper were very well researched.

Cheers,

Andy.

Nick Rossiter
Sunday 5th October 2003, 01:32
Thanks for the comments! The shots from Staufen are all of the same 1-2 birds. You're not seriously saying photo 1 with its kite-like jizz shows a juvenile Common Buzzard. The tail length is slightly greater than the wing width as well which is very bad for Common Buzzard. Three broad bars across the secondaries is also good for HB as is the small body in relation to the wing span. Forsman plate 34 is similar to this bird. I note you're selected one where an optical effect is indicating a light patch on the body.

While Forsman does cite moult as beginning in June, it looks as if it begins in some females when they arrive back on the breeding grounds in mid-May. Such birds moult 3-4 inner primaries through to the end of July, becoming full-winged in August in contrast of course to adult Common Buzzard. Moult periods are bound to vary.

Cheers ... Nick

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 01:44
Hello and welcome, Nick,

I didn't say any of the above but I do broadly agree with Logos. I do not see a Honey Buzzard in any of your photographs.

Potograph 1 Common Buzzard-like jizz - wings pressed forward. Tail shape and date would suggest juvenile Common Buzzard (they have obviously longer tails than adults). No moult showing.
It is, though the closest you have to a Honey.

Cheers,

Andy.

Nick Rossiter
Sunday 5th October 2003, 02:11
Andy, I doubt your knowledge in this area.
Forsman p.32 says for HB "The silhouette recalls other buzzards, but the Honey Buzzard soars on wings pressed more forward".
If you're not aware of this your raptor id may be suspect.

Also note the small heads on some of the birds. If you think these are CBuzz well ....

While I accept that CBuzz juveniles have relatively longer tails than adults they are not often as long as the wing width.

The Finnish bird was identified by leading Finnish birders.

Cheers ... Nick

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 02:27
Nick, in my experience, Common Buzzard consistently soars with the wings, especially the hands pressed forward, whereas the Honey Buzzard tends to soar with the carpal joint pressed forward and only rarely and briefly with the hand further forward.

Finnish bird 1 looks mostly Common Buzzard.

Don't own Forsman.

P.M. me and I will refer you directly to birders I have spent time in the field with, both in the UK and Europe, you can ask them about my 'knowledge'.

Regards,

Andy.

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 05:03
Nick,

re your Staufen 'pair of adults':

pic 1 - I don't see anything Kite-like about it, are the wings pressed forward or drooping? A likely Honey but definite?

pic 2 - I assume is of the same bird shows what appears to be a distinct pale breast band which would put it 90%+ Common!

pics 3,4,5,6,7 and 8 - ie the other bird of the 'pair' - pale breast band, fine even barring on the tail, obvious occipital ridge? Not Honey but Common! No sign of any rudder movement of the tail in this 'sequence', which is primarily the thing that would give a honey buzzard it's 'Kite-like jizz'.



Pic 3, Hexham, 12th of May, 2002 shows a Common Buzzard - short tail and 'no neck'.



Perth bird probably good for Honey.



Passage bird pretty inconclusive. Maybe neither!



My gut instinct for some of the other birds tells me that some of them are good Honeys but ???



Familiarity with the more common species is vital when you are confronted with a potential Honey. This way it is easy to dismiss non-Honeys quickly - eg:

wing shape and attitude,

depth, frequency and flexibility of wingbeats,

tail-side shape and movement of the tail,

'centre of gravity' and shape of body.



Plumage details are often confusing, given the great variety in both species and the need for a fairly close view.



Honeys often don't 'do' anything. You can watch one for maybe 5-10 minutes, gliding towards, past and away from you, over perhaps 3 or more miles in distance, and if you are lucky it will be close and low enough to get the clincher! If at the closest, it's over a thousand feet up and a mile away you have almost no chance unless it puts in a deep, flexible wingbeat or starts wingclapping. Don't blink!


If you are not 100% on any 'confusion' species eg:

Common Buzzard,

Goshawk (head/neck and tail lengths similar),

Marsh and melanistic Montagu's Harriers (plumage),

Lesser Spotted Eagle (head-on or gliding away - drooping wings).

- it is not wise to publish.


Regards,

Andy.

P.S. no books were used to reference my replies, just my experience and discussions in the field with other enthusiasts and specialists, to whom I owe most of my UK experience with Honeys. They know who they are - thanks, lads! Hope I got it right:)

Doug
Sunday 5th October 2003, 06:23
Fascinating discussion. I have dipped twice on HB - North Norfolk and nearer home in Nottinghamshire.

To be frank, we saw two Buzzards at the Notts site but I could not confidently say they were Honey's.

It is discussions like this that provide an insight for us birders much lower down the learning curve with the indepth knowledge and clues we need to understand how experienced birders separate such 'difficult' species.

Pease keep it up

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 06:55
Cheers Doug,

First Honey I saw in the UK took me three days of research and memory trawling before I was sure!

Haldon, Devon: parked up, got out of car, looked up - speck with the naked eye! Lifted up trusty 7x50's, buzzardy job too far up to get plumage or accurate shape - drifting slowly away. Stayed on it for 3-5 minutes probably now close to 2 miles away, maybe losing altitude, then it flapped once - big curvy-winged flap where the wingtips came close to touching underneath the body.

That trip had been planned late the previous year, so I had plenty of time to gen up but I hadn't realised how flexible the wing action was!

If it hadn't flapped.........

Regards,

Andy.

Cuckoo-shrike
Sunday 5th October 2003, 09:27
I see Common Buzzards every day and over 20 years I've seen lots of Honeys throughout Europe, including plenty this spring in Estonia.
Satrow is of course absolutely spot on. The Perth birds look pretty good, one or two of the others may be indeterminate but almost all are Common Buzzards without any shadow of a doubt.
I would suggest that Nick needs to concentrate more on field experience and less on text-books.

Steve G
Sunday 5th October 2003, 12:54
It's perhaps rather risky to offer definitive IDs on flight still images of this nature though I must admit to having nagging doubts about some of the images on Nick's site. I see common Buzzards every day ( a pair nest behind my garden!) & in the general area where I live there has been a massive increase in the local Common Buzzard population. I continue to be surprised at how variable they are.
I'll attach a series of Honey/Common Buzzard images; perhaps some folk have what it takes to make the correct diagnoses. At the risk of losing street-cred.(not that I ever had any!) I would have to say that I would have got about half of these wrong. Number the images as 1,2 & 3(the large one) along the top row, 4,5,6 along the middle row & 7,8 along the bottom row.

Good luck.

Steve G
Sunday 5th October 2003, 12:57
................and 2 more: 9 & 10

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 13:03
Hi Steve,

Some good birds there. Are they your pics or clipped from the web?

Regards,

Andy.

Steve G
Sunday 5th October 2003, 13:13
All but 2 are scanned images. Want to have a go & win a coconut?

Michael Frankis
Sunday 5th October 2003, 13:19
Hi Steve,

I'll be first to stick my neck out like a Honey Buzzard . . .

HB: 1, 3, 4, 6, 9
CB: 2, 5, 7, 8, 10

I'm least happy about my call on 8, that could also be HB

Michael

wpercy
Sunday 5th October 2003, 13:19
Most of the birds on Nicks site are Common Buzzards, there are at most 3or 4 Honeys,all the birds in his home county are Common!(interesting as he has recently claimed a breeding poulation). dont think much of his Finish experts as they are Common Buzzards too.
Forget the books,what is needed here is proper field experience.
I have 12 years experience monitoring a population of between 8 to 10 pairs in my area and help with other populations in other parts of the country,also in can vouch for andy (satrow) as he has helped at one of these sites.

Steve G
Sunday 5th October 2003, 13:28
8 out of 10 Michael -I'd say that's pretty good( & better than I'd get!) - unless you're right with one more................. in which case I can add Honey Buzzard to my garden list!

logos
Sunday 5th October 2003, 13:29
I don't see anything risky about identifying still images when some decent plumage detail is visible, as it is in several of these.

Based mainly on observable plumage features on the tail and primaries, rather than jizz (which is certainly unreliable in still images, at least unless the tail structure is clearly visible) I'd say:

1, HB
2, CB
3, HB
4, HB
5, CB
6, HB
7,? HB?
8,? HB?
9,? HB?
10,?CB?

I haven't bothered ageing them though this is clearly possible in some cases.

There's a danger of overcomplicating what is actually a fairly straightforward id in this thread, in the field, and in images which show enough plumage detail, there is seldom a problem given a bit of experience and an awaremess that up until an age of about 10 months CB can have a distinctly different outline to that of older birds. The inclusion of dates on these images might make identifications based on them more accurate.

Incidentally I'm keen to see any reliable references which indicate that adult Honey Buzzards ever start primary moult before late June as nobody I know has ever observed this in birds in Europe before this time. 2nd calendar year birds may begin their post-juvenile primary moult a bit earlier than this but they remain in Africa.

Spud

Spar
Sunday 5th October 2003, 13:30
O.K. Steve I will have a go,although I have no Knowledge of H.B.only of C.B.

1H.B. 2C.B. 3C.B. 4H.B. 5H.B. 6H.B. 7C.B 8H.B. 9H.B. 10C.B.

I will get my coat now as they will all be wrong.Interesting just how hard they are to define, Andy and Nick find some common ground we are after all only birdbraines.

Lol Spar

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 13:38
Hi Steve,

you have a PM.

Andy

Nick Rossiter
Sunday 5th October 2003, 13:44
I've added another series of photos from a site in Liege where I got a wide range of jizz shots.

I need to stress again that all the entries on one line refer to the same bird or pair. So if e.g. you think pic 3 looks like a CBuzz then that might be a particular pose of the bird. You need to look at all the pictures on a line to form an overall opinion. It's generally accepted that in some poses HB and CBuzz look very similar. It is part of the point of the presentation to show how a bird may vary even during one or two circles.

For instance: Hexhamshire 13 July 2003 - you may think photo 2 looks like a CBuzz but photo 3 of the same bird 5 seconds later shows classical HBuzz jizz.

I agree with what I think you're saying that many of the standard field guides for HB are very poor for id of birds in breeding areas as they show birds in power mode on migration with strong underlighting as they fly over desert or rocks. Float mode is very different and the underlighting over woods and fields is much reduced (Forsman, Introductory chapter, p.17-18). A wide range of poses is shown by an HB in a typical flight over its breeding site -- much wider than shown in field guides.

Forsman's book seems to me to be an advance on anything written before. I'm a bit worried that you're out of step with it.

Cheers ... Nick

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 13:48
Welcome to Bird Forums Wayne.

Good to have you aboard.

Regards,

Andy.

Cuckoo-shrike
Sunday 5th October 2003, 13:50
Honey: 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9
Common: 2, 5, 7, 10.

logos
Sunday 5th October 2003, 13:58
Nick,

Some of your adult Honey buzzards show the diagnostic plumage patterns of juvenile Common Buzzards.

Ever thought that the books might be right....?

I'd be the first to admit that I don't have the relevant recent experience of Honey Buzzards to make judgements based on what to me seem ambiguous jizz only images but I know I can identify birds when sufficient plumage detail is visible. Do you make all of your identifications based on jizz or do you sometimes look at the plumage too?

Spud

Steve G
Sunday 5th October 2003, 14:03
Hi All,
I feel more than a little guilty at starting this as prides are at stake but then again so is Nick's reputation. All of you have scored higher than I would, but nobody has got them all right. Spud I respect what you have written but would still argue that its a risky business to ID on what is effectively back-lit flight shots -often almost in sihouette. Spud you got 8 out of 10, Aquila you got 8 out of 10 & Spar you got 7 out of 10. All of you scored higher than I would however, 2 of the images were taken from my back door over the garden this afternoon & according to all of you I can add Honey Buzzard to my garden list!

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 14:03
Hey Nick,

Grab the next flight out of Newcastle Airport and spend a few days around Gibraltar - should still be a few juvs and maybe a late adult male hanging around.

Experience is (almost) all with this species, books can give a fair grounding but the authors subtle stresses on writing may not match the readers stresses on reading it, especially in the English language!

Regards,

Andy

Cuckoo-shrike
Sunday 5th October 2003, 14:06
Now you're talking Nick! Most of the Liege birds are very obvious as Honeys as soon as you see them (just look at that tail and the bulging secondaries compared with some of your "Honey Buzzards" from other sites.
No, I'm sorry, but it's you that is out of step with your i.d. criteria. Sure Forsman is a great guide-book, but Dick Forsman would be the first to say that poring through texts and photographs is no substitute for getting to know the "feel" of a bird through field experience.

Spar
Sunday 5th October 2003, 14:09
Steve Garvie,
well go and add it too your list (joke)
All the best Spar.

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 14:19
Steve,

There are good number of pairs in Scotland, even though they may have had a poor season. If you can age it as a juv then it could well be :)

Andy.

logos
Sunday 5th October 2003, 14:19
Hi Steve,

Just wondering if anyone doing your very interesting quizz has identified a HB as a CB rather than the other way around.?

It'll be very informative to see which of your pics caused the most trouble, I bet it's the ones where little plumage detail is visible. I'm happy to leave jizz based Id's of raptors to genuine experts in this field though I guess that even some of the best can be misled by the occasional odd angle in a still image.

An average of 7-8 correct out of 10 often very small images suggests to me that id of this species is not too hard if you look at the right features.

Spud

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 14:26
Nick,

Honeys at last!

Why didn't you upload these to your site and not some of those ropey jobs?

On the slim-tailed shots plumage is unnecessary, shape and relative length is all that's needed.

Now rewrite the page (or archive it and post the real one) before someone sees it :)

Cheers,

Andy.

John Cantelo
Sunday 5th October 2003, 14:36
Is this a private argument, or can anybody join in?

I was very interested to read all the comments about Nick’s Honey Buzzard page since I was pointed in the direction of this resource last week. My informant, a published raptor expert, was of the opinion that none of the photos he’d looked at showed Honey Buzzard. Having had a look (at c15 shots) for myself, I think that this is too harsh a judgement. On examining the shots I concluded that whilst some were perfectly good for Honey Buzzards and several were difficult to call (these were what I’d call ‘record shots’ rather than polished portraits), a couple just looked utterly wrong and pretty much typical Buzzard.

Since I was meeting some birding friends on Thursday (including an acknowledged world expert on one group of birds and a formidable all-round birder) I printed off 10 of Nick’s photos to take along . Without comment, I handed over the prints & was relieved to discover that the guys all pretty much agreed – some typical long ‘pinched’ winged, long paddle tailed & pigeon headed birds were clearly Honeys, others where the angle/quality of the shot made conclusive diagnosis difficult, but two shots which everyone thought were ‘obvious’ Common Buzzard.
That said one of the party had taken photos of Honeys and Buzzard on holiday abroad this summer, but on reviewing his shots found it far more difficult to distinguish the two from the photos than he had in the field!

I always think that, until you’ve seen the genuine article, it’s very easy to confuse HBs with Common Buzzards, but that, even with fairly distant views views, it has a very distinctive ‘jizz’. One caveat I’d add is that if you’re only used to seeing adults the slightly different shape/proportions of the young birds can be disconcerting at first. As it seems obligatory to mention one’s experience with the species, I’d better add that I first saw HBs in the late 60s, have seen them occasionally in the UK and regularly abroad (esp. in the Calais area). If Samy wants to get to grips with the species, forget trying to chase them in Kent, just wait for May and toddle over to France where they’re virtually unmissable in late May (given sunnny weather)

Personally I find Forsman’s book, whilst superbly detailed, not particularly user friendly! I’d agree with Nick though, one shouldn’t entirely bank on the exact timing of the moult; and it is quite possible that the odd Honey will moult a few weeks earlier than ‘standard’ As ever the Collins guide covers the species well, but if Sammy needs a good, very reader friendly account look at the old MacMillan ‘Bird Identification’ guide (as mentioned on another forum recently) takes some beating The later MacMillan guide covers the species in far more detail, but simply lacks Vinicombe’s talent for rendering complex issues into simple concepts.

John

logos
Sunday 5th October 2003, 14:47
Just on the subject of moult, can anyone point me in the direction of a photograph which shows a Honey Buzzard in Europe in wing moult before, let's say, mid-June. I'd have thought that this species, having as it does a spectacular aerial display, would be very reluctant to start moulting until such activity was no longer required. Moult normally starts only during incubation when display activity is virtually nil.

Spud

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 14:52
Hi John,

I'll put my hand up now to say that my experience is limited to some 40 or so individual birds, aged 2/3 years? and upwards, plus a couple of big young still at the nest!

Any sponsorship for a fortnight in southern Spain and/or the Bosphorus during September/October next year would be graciously accepted :)

Good points!

Regards,

Andy.

P.S. I thought (he) was harsh when he showed me too.

(edited for carp spelling)

Stringer
Sunday 5th October 2003, 14:52
Well thanks Guys.
I think Im going to be removing Honey Buzzard from my life list! It is always an education listening in to the debates of the the better informed! I mean that. Thank you.
Last year, I had 3 Buzzard sp. soaring together near Strumpshaw in Norfolk. It was June, and one bird whilst being very similar in size, was very pale. it held its tail and head completely differently to the other two. Or did it have a smaller head? I know commons are variable but......this did not look right. Myself and others confidently ticked honey, but now im not so sure! I have four other ticks of Buzzard sp from known sites. Am I a crap birder or what!
As I said, thanks a lot!
Please never discuss the skuas!

Steve G
Sunday 5th October 2003, 15:12
Now that Honey Buzzard is on my garden list I was thinking of a new avatar............................................ ..................................... I'll post the answers later tonight just in case anyone else wants to play Russian roulette with their "street-cred". ;)

John Cantelo
Sunday 5th October 2003, 15:42
I tried to submit a comment earlier, but it apparently failed - apologies if I repeat myself. I looked at Nick's site last Wednesday and my conclusions pretty much mirror the opinions of Andy & Spud. Some images are clearly HBs, others equally conclusively CBs and some too poor to be dogmatic. I even printed off several to show birding pals last week - all thought pretty much the same.

I really think that Nick needs to reassess some of the identifications. There appears to be a concensus that some show Common, not, Honey Buzzard. If I was facing that weight of contrary opinion from my peers I'd want to double check the strength of my case! I'd also agree that there's nowt like field experience to sort out these two species. (For the record I saw my first HBs in the late 60s, see them regularly in Europe and tolerably frequently on passage in the UK over the past few years). As for Sammy I'd advise him to forget chasing HBs in Kent & simply nip over the Channel next summer. They're pretty easy in the Calais area if you know where to go (I can provide details!),
John

Cuckoo-shrike
Sunday 5th October 2003, 15:47
John (Cantelo), can you remember which 10 photos you took to your friends? Which specifically did they i.d. as Honey?

wpercy
Sunday 5th October 2003, 18:09
Nick says that Forsman states that Honey soars with wings pressed more foward,and that if Andy was not aware of this his raptor i.d. may be suspect,well this is interesting,the fact is that Honey does not press wings more forward,and i am sure Dick Forsman knows this,i can can only think it was a mistake at the printers,anyone with any real experience with Honey will know this,obviously Nick relies on this tip,hence all the mistakes,i would say that it is Nicks raptor identification that is suspect.
Wayne.

Jonny_Rocker
Sunday 5th October 2003, 18:44
steve,

attempted your picture quiz:

HB: 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9
CB: 2, 5, 10, 7

Steve G
Sunday 5th October 2003, 19:29
9 out of 10 Jonny, the coconut is heading your way at present.

logos
Sunday 5th October 2003, 19:33
Steve,

That's the same list of identifications that Aquila gave but he only got 8/10!

Spud

logos
Sunday 5th October 2003, 19:41
Desparate for a coconut but in fear of getting fewer than last time I'll go for:

HB: 1,3,4,6,8

CB: 2,5,7,9,10

Spud

Jonny_Rocker
Sunday 5th October 2003, 19:43
Steve,

Would i be correct in assuming that it was picture 7 that i got incorrect?

barontan2418
Sunday 5th October 2003, 19:45
Hi Steve

I'm certainly no expert on field identification of Honey Buzzards, but I just had to have a go, by the way great idea, certainly makes us non-experts think.

1.HB
2.CB
3.HB
4.HB
5.HB
6.HB
7.CB
8.CB
9.HB
10.CB

All the best.

Mick

Steve G
Sunday 5th October 2003, 20:04
Spud I was under the impression you wrote HB: 1,3,4,6,7,8,9....... & CB:2,5,10. I owe a big aplology to Aquila who in fact got 9 out of 10. You got a respectable 7 out of 10 Mick.
Spud to be fair the two you got wrong initially were qualified with question marks & your second go wins you the coconut. The most troublesome image seemed to be number 9 which is honestly the same bird as 10; they are consecutive shots taken this afternoon. The backlighting & angle of photography makes a huge difference to the birds profile -I agree it looks to have a longer tail & a pinched base to the wings & perhaps even the head looks slightly pigeon-like. To be fair to Dick Forsman his book seems to indicate that IN SOME CASES a good view of the remiges is critical for reliable identification

Spar
Sunday 5th October 2003, 21:42
Good fun Stevie maybe I should post some photo`s of hybrid raptors then that would create havoc.
Spar

Steve G
Sunday 5th October 2003, 21:49
Yeah Spar, a few hybrid Lanner/Saker pics should just about cause a meltdown!

Spar
Sunday 5th October 2003, 21:55
How about redtail/harris, copper/spar ,merlin/peregrine, gyr/peregrine the list is now endless with A.I.

Lol Spar

Steve G
Sunday 5th October 2003, 22:03
Got any Peregrine x Egyptian vulture ................a bird that stoops to eat sh1t!3:-)

Michael Frankis
Sunday 5th October 2003, 22:14
Originally posted by Steve Garvie
The most troublesome image seemed to be number 9 which is honestly the same bird as 10; they are consecutive shots taken this afternoon

Knowing now that 9 & 10 are the same bird, I was more sure of 10 being CB, than 9 being HB, so I'll shift 9 from HB to CB

Michael

Spar
Sunday 5th October 2003, 22:17
The coconut has already gone Michael.

Lol Spar

logos
Sunday 5th October 2003, 22:17
Michael,

been there, done that, got the coconut.

Spud

Michael Frankis
Sunday 5th October 2003, 22:21
Doesn't matter, I don't like coconut . . .

Michael

Spar
Sunday 5th October 2003, 22:23
Why Michael,
have you not got a hammer to open it?

Spar

Steve G
Sunday 5th October 2003, 22:33
It's ok Michael........have some humble pie instead! 3:-)

Michael Frankis
Sunday 5th October 2003, 22:33
Originally posted by Spar
Why Michael,
have you not got a hammer to open it?

Spar

It isn't a conifer :king:

Spar
Sunday 5th October 2003, 22:35
Yeah,

but the milk is better.

Lol Spar

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 23:28
Hi all,

Judging by the peregrinations of the last batch of posts, I guess we've sorted out the likely cause of the misidentifications on Nicks site.

Wayne, in his second post to this Forum said:-

Originally posted by wpercy
Nick says that Forsman states that Honey soars with wings pressed more foward,and that if Andy was not aware of this his raptor i.d. may be suspect,well this is interesting,the fact is that Honey does not press wings more forward,and i am sure Dick Forsman knows this,i can can only think it was a mistake at the printers, anyone with any real experience with Honey will know this, obviously Nick relies on this tip, hence all the mistakes, I would say that it is Nicks raptor identification that is suspect.
Wayne.

Having already stated that I do not have Forsman's book, I cannot say for sure: but if the top Euro raptor expert has a glitch in his book, then we can hardly blame Nick personally for his lack of experience.

After all, each of us has to rely on the 'best available' science when we come up against something new. If that data is flawed, then all of our conclusions and 'best guesses' will be coloured by that.

We all have to start somewhere but few have the opportunity to be coached by an acknowledged expert, in the field, where it counts most.

Thanks to everyone for turning this from a bit of a wild attack into an excellent thread. Wicked quiz too.

Thanks again and best wishes to all who took the time to make a good, clean fight of it.

Regards,

Andy.

P.S. shall I delete the thread now?

Steve G
Sunday 5th October 2003, 23:32
Put this one to rest Andy.

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 5th October 2003, 23:34
Cheers Steve,

'nite.

Andy.

Steve G
Sunday 5th October 2003, 23:37
Night one & all......hic!

HH75
Monday 6th October 2003, 18:00
Hi all,
Was away for a while,so couldn't take part in the "coconut competition",but was pleasantly surprised to get about 7-8 right(based on what others said),given that my own field experience of HB is extremely limited(saw some late migrant HB's in Bulgaria late Sep.99,also a few CB's there and here,but don't see them that regularly).It would appear that they aren't that bad if seen well.
Have yet to check out Nick's website,but will do so,and will pass on my thoughts.
Harry H

logos
Monday 6th October 2003, 18:35
Nick has now added some further comments to his Honey Buzzard page but is still under the impression that some of the obvious Common Buzzards (including the Staufen bird!) are Honeys - though he has back-tracked somewhat on the Finnish bird. I'm reluctant to get into the identification of individual birds as many of the images do not contain the necessary detail for me personally to make a judgement but I generally see few clear indications of Honey Buzzard except for the birds at Liege
and, perhaps, that in Perthshire. I wonder whether one of the birds might actually be a Marsh Harrier....

I assume from the lack of response to my queries regarding the moult timing of Honey Buzzards in Europe that nobody following this thread (and that includes several observers with far more recent and extensive experience of Eurasian Honey than me!) has ever seen a Honey Buzzard in wing moult in May?.

Unless there is any convincing evidence to the contrary I'd suggest that any buzzard-like bird seen before mid-June which shows signs of primary moult cannot be a Honey buzzard and is almost certainly a 2nd-calendar year Common Buzzard. Because such birds still retain juvenile wing and tail feathers they are likely to appear somewhat different in jizz to adults due to the narrower wings and longer tails of juv's and represent an obvious pitfall for the unwary. Small changes in wing position and perhaps even flight action are also likely to occur in such birds as the feathers of the wing are held in such a way as to minimise the impact of any gaps in the wing caused by missing feathers.

Hope you saw the 'be-bop' Harry!


Spud

Sorry Harry, just noticed in another thread that you didn't see it.

Edward woodwood
Monday 6th October 2003, 19:28
Nick's had a fairly torrid time time of it lately. Comments have varied from almost all of his birds being commons to only a couple or so being dodgy. Anyone want to stick therir neck on the line and say which are and are not Honey's?

Nick Rossiter
Monday 6th October 2003, 19:49
Re: moult

CBizz, Red kite and Black Kite all start their moult at egg-laying time so you might expect HB to start at the same time, that is mid-May to early June. It's a sensible use of the time for the female. Moulting and re-growing 3-4 primaries would take perhaps 8 weeks so the wings become whole again in late July which fits in with my experience. Two weeks a feather is a reasonable pace. Has anybody seen HB in moult in August/September?

From another tack buzzard-type birds with full wing in June and July cannot be CBuzz adults as they will be in moult. Juvenile CBuzz in Northumberland do not fledge normally until the last ten days of July so I have no doubt about the provenance of my HB photos shown for this time, the July bird being a male which sometimes apparently do not moult at all in Britain.

Cheers ... Nick

logos
Monday 6th October 2003, 19:58
I thought I already done this to some extent Tim,

The Liege bird is a Honey, the Perthshire bird probably is, any in wing moult in May (several) are Common (in my view) and the birds at Staufen and in Finland are Common based on observable plumage features

The rest are beyond my powers I'm afraid but show no features to me that unequivocally make them Honey's. As the purpose of the HB page, according to Nick, is to show how Honey Buzzards can change their appearance it must be viewed as a failure because, unfortunately, the author does not always seem able to distinguish these birds himself.

Nick has had a torrid time, but if you put your stuff in the public domain you must anticipate the possibility of it being challenged. I note also that Nick himself quickly resorted to direct personal attacks on the abilities of others, most of the posts have been more diplomatic.

Spud

Edward woodwood
Monday 6th October 2003, 20:55
Hi Spud
cheers for the reply - those are the two that I would be most sceptical about too. Anyone out there who reckons more of them are NOT Honeys bearing in mind the problems posed by Steve's quiz with much better pix.......

wpercy
Monday 6th October 2003, 22:16
I`ll stick my neck out...having now had a really good long look i would say that ALL of the birds, but maybe just one are Common Buzzards,exept the birds added later(liege),i dont expect people to take my word for it,so if necessary i will get all the very experienced Honey watchers i know(including one who is on the BBRC)to give there verdicts,THEY ARE COMMON BUZZARDS.
Wayne.

Edward woodwood
Monday 6th October 2003, 22:22
only one Honey
or all Honey but two?
getting more interesting by the post
yours provokingly
Tim

Nick Rossiter
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 00:50
Please, WPercy, give your reasons for the HB in Northumberland in June and July being CBuzz. You must know something about moult and poses that is extra special.

Has anybody got close enough to HBs to hear them call? I've been expecting more feedback on this topic.

Finally I should point out that I did not solicit comments on this part of my web site at this time. Andy Mabbett did that. Never mind -- it speeded up the annotations!

With best wishes ... Nick

Andrew Rowlands
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 00:55
Hi Nick,

Anyhing Mabbett writes or posts gets killfiltered by me!

Can you give more details?

Cheers,

Andy.

wpercy
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 08:07
Nick, the birds June are clearly Common Buzzard,the tail is to short,the head is to big and the wing shape wrong,image 2 shows nicely the "no neck" and large head,and image 5...well a classic shot of a Common.
Nick also asked about calls,i have heard Honeys call in probably all circumstances,alarmed at nest,bringing food to young, young calling for food etc,so i listened to nicks recordings...........oops
they are...yes Common Buzzard,very poor quality but i heard nothing but Common.
Can we assume that because Nick is now only defending the june birds in Northumberland that he has now accepted that the rest are Common?.
Clearly nick needs to go where Honeys occur and get some experience, he will find out that as i said, when known well they are really Quite different.
Wayne.

Nick Rossiter
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 08:28
Wayne, I simply point these out because they should be in moult if they are CBuzz. The tails are longer than the wing width.,very unlikely in CBuzz at this time of year. The calls are not alarm or feeding calls but display calls. The trisyllabic and multisyllabic calls are characteristic of HB.

So I ask again, if they are CBuzz why are they not in moult?

All the best ... Nick

wpercy
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 08:30
Sorry...Nick did ask me to comment on the July birds too,again all Common,....same reasons,short tail,large head etc,image 1 shows these points quite nicely allthough some might pick up on the "drooped wing" appearance,not right,bird is probably hovering or stalling,image 3 shows the bird appearing to have a long head,not right, just the angle of the shot,image 5 shows a flat wing and possible tail "ruddering",...still a Common,most raptors move there tail in this fashion to an extent,its more obvious on Honey(longer tail),the flat wings?...it must be remembered that this is of best use on a soaring bird,also many juv Commons will soar on flat wings even the odd adult common.

Nick Rossiter
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 08:40
Answer the questioin on moult Wayne.

wpercy
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 08:41
Nick,
Forget moult,the fact is the birds are Common Buzard,common Buzzards do moult during this time,it does not mean every time you look at a Common in June or July you are going to see a bird with gaps in the wing.
Please get the pics looked at by other people who DO know Honeys,like i said in a previous posting i have many friends who work with Honeys,i can put you in touch.
Wayne.

wpercy
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 08:48
The calls are Common Buzzard,it is unusual for Honey to call away from the nest area,Nick get your head out that book and go and find some real Honeys.
Wayne.

Nick Rossiter
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 08:56
Wayne, the gaps are not always obvious in the field for the inner primaries but they are on photographs. CBuzz should be up to perhaps P5/P6 by mid-jJuly. The missing feathers should actually be very obvious by now.

Cheers ... Nick

Andrew Rowlands
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 10:45
Sorry Nick,

Dick Forsman seems to be of the same opinion as Wayne and others.

(quote)

Hi Andy,
I am sorry to inform you, but practically all of the photos on the Honey
Buzz web site are actually Common Buzzards!!! The only convincing Honey
Buzzards I could find were the ones from Liege, Belgium. Also the bird from
Pertshire, Scotland looks like a HB. All the others can be identified as Com
Buzzards.

The pictures are too many to start to go through them one by one, but in
most pictures the pattern of the secondaries, the underwing coverts and the
body show the diagnostic Com Buz characters, while in some cases the shapes
of the birds clearly show them to be Com Buzzards.

In case of any seriously difficult cases I am willing to defend my case
further, but as for the current pictures I think they speak for themself.

Cheers
Dick

(unquote)

Guess that's the end of the thead imminent.

Cheers,

Andy.

logos
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 13:48
Yes, perhaps we should let this one rest now to prevent further embarrasment.

Spud

Edward woodwood
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 18:23
thanks for a few nites entertainment boys!!!
looking forward to the next one......
Tim

Cuckoo-shrike
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 20:26
Well done Satrow, although as you say, it sounds the death knell (surely???) for a great thread, although Nick fights hard even when all seems totally lost!

wpercy
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 21:03
Now, what about the recent acceptance of the existance of a breeding population of Honey Buzzard in Northumberland on the word of Nick?,he has obviously been a little confused with what Honeys look like,so i think a review of this record of breeding birds should take place or he should take some experianced birders along to substantiate his claims(as far as i know no one else has seen them).
I am sure there are very good Raptor people in the county who would like things to be acurate to protect there own good reputations.
Wayne.

John Cantelo
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 22:27
I've now had a chance to look again at Nick's HB page; the photos online are much easier to study than the grainy prints I used in the pub! As far as I can recall the birds that I & others were happy to ID as HBs were those from Liege/Perthshire. All those from Northumberland were either too 'iffy' photos to be 100% certain or ID'd as Commons. Having looked at more photos I tend to agree with Andy's analysis; HBs are certainly in the minority. With someone familiar with HB call being of the opinion that the calls on his site also represent CB, not HB, I really do think it's time for Nick to reassess his claims. Frankly, to go banging on about the nicities of moult when the several photos, by common consent, clearly show fairly typical CBs reather misses the point. Pity, I really want Nick to be right about the abundance of HBs in the north,
John

Andrew Rowlands
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 22:59
John,

You may not realise this but the Liege photo's were not added until just before 'Sunday 5th October 2003 14:44', quite a while after the thread started!

Regards,

Andy.

logos
Tuesday 7th October 2003, 23:44
Now that the important facts have been established beyond any reasonable doubt wouldn't it be judicious to let the dust settle on this one - I'm sure we don't want to get involved in what might seem like a witch hunt.

The debate about these birds has clearly been going on in a much less public manner in several other places and no doubt appropriate conclusions will be drawn.

Spud

Andrew Rowlands
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 00:00
I don't want a witch hunt, Spud,.

A lot of time-served, hard-working birders in the NE of England would like to know why the only time they see a Honey is on passage. They don't see breeding birds.

What is the point of having breeding ranges or population estimates in fieldguides if they cannot be relied upon as 'best available' data?

I/we, would like to find out more about this elusive raptors lifestlye in Britain so that we can conserve and hopefully increase it's range and numbers by improving or creating its' preferred habitat. If it does'nt breed in Northumbria then why not? How can we improve the likelihood of it recolonising in the near future?

Regards,

Andy.

Cuckoo-shrike
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 07:31
I'm surprised to see the thread "Identifying Honey Buzzards?" closed as Nick clearly feels the debate is not over. If you have a look at his website again:

http://www.nrossiter.supanet.com/hb/id.htm

you'll find that, not only are all the photos still there, he has now added extra texts purporting to justify his i.d.'s. It seems he is now beginning to question Dick Forsman's expertise.......

Andrew Rowlands
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 07:43
Hi Aquila,

I asked for the thread to be closed and cleaned of off topic stuff so that it could more easily referred to in future for ID purposes.

I was certainly of the opinion that the author had been mistaken due to the lack of familiarity with either of the buzzards.

Sorry if it was premature,

Andy.

wpercy
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 07:48
Aquila,
In fairness i think that Nick added that before Dick had a look,probably made Dick smile though!,ithink Nick is probably hiding somewhere.
cheers Wayne.

Cuckoo-shrike
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 07:49
That's fair enough Satrow. On the subject of Nick's website, it has of course all been said. I was just utterly amazed to find that he hadn't retracted his views. Go ahead and close this one now!

Jasonbirder
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 13:54
Before I go any further I’d like to state I don’t know any of the parties involved and I’ve looked at the photo’s on the website and agree with the comments here– a lot do seem to be Common Buzzards, so I’ve no axe to grind here.

I`m just a little bit concerned about the response Nick has received both in the terms of Bird Forum and in the wider birding “community”.
As I see it Nick has put in a lot of time and effort putting together a website with Photo`s and conclusions – admittedly he`s made some mistakes but he`s made an effort to contribute something here and essentially he`s been ridiculed. Now I sympathise with Nick – I`ve made those kinds of mistakes myself, in fact mis-identifying high flying raptors is something of a speciality of mine! But joking aside they`re not always easy to ID as the photos and debate has shown.
Everyone can say Nick should have just accepted the criticism with grace and moved on – but that’s easier said than done, human nature is to defend yourself and your ideas even when you`re in the wrong!!!
I`d hate to think that Nick was put off from submitting to Bird Forum in future because of the response he`s received and I`d also hate to think Nick was discouraged from contributing more stuff like his website – because he`s had such a bruising encounter with more experienced birders – whilst his conclusions and ID are suspect his effort and interest should be applauded and encouraged, besides the Honey Buzzard – Common Buzzard ID debate has certainly taught me a thing or two!

wpercy
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 15:13
Jason, i was expecting something like this,and i think you right to a certain extent,but it should be remembered that birders try to learn from web sites and papers like Nicks, also i`m sure people look up to Nick as i`m sure he comes across as being Knowledgable with Honey Buzzard but as we have seen he is not, i think this is dangerous,i believe at 1 or 2 people in Northumberland were concerned some time ago about Nicks data,
obviously they dont want dodgy stuff going into the records.
In a way i also felt a sorry for Nick, but surley if your going to put stuff on the web you should check and double check your data, most of those were pics so obviously Common Buzzards.

Jasonbirder
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 16:00
In a way I agree with you, his website does come across as very “authoritative” but I suspect that’s as much down to style and presentation as arrogance on Nicks part.

I just think that making mistakes is part and parcel of birding – I’ve made plenty and continue to do so, and I think its very much part of the learning process…pushing your skills and getting it wrong is the only way we get better.

I just feel that instead of a “good try – well done but you`ve made mistakes” he got shot down in flames – that doesn`t encourage him to try again or make any further effort and it would be a shame if just kept his head down and said nothing more/ did nothing more in future for fear of being shot down in flames.

Maybe I`m more forgiving of errors because I`ve made so many myself !!!

Steve
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 16:23
I have re-opened this thread and merged it with the original, as the discussion had carried on and to avoid confusion.

I am not sure of the full story, but I couldn't see anything wrong with the thread, or am I missing something?

Regards,

Steve

Edward woodwood
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 18:33
just to make us all feel a bit better though CJW, even the HB 'experts' disagreed quite widely regarding just how many were or were not HB - just re-read some of the posts - and from those pix it's pretty diff. for the average or even pretty decent birder to be 100% certain. Although it looked 'obvious' something was up I thought the birds must have been seen in the field much better (and repeatedly if breeders) than the dodgy pix implied, hence at least some of the ids were possibly safer than they looked at first but it's not the case
hate to see someone kicked when they're down though.....

logos
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 18:41
Some recent posts seem to have disappeared, any reason why?

Actually Tim, given the nature of the images I thought the degree of unanimity was surprisingly high.

spud

Steve
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 18:49
The last two disappeared because they were not valid to the thread, They were generalising on previous threads, I do not know about any others.
What I do know however is that we are not going to close threads because some people disagree with the content, The forums are about discussion ,debate and an exchange of views
if people think that a poster has got it wrong Fine, say so and say why, But closing a thread because of conflicting views is not the answer. Threads that do get closed have usually crossed over into abuse or stalemate, I see neither in this one?

Edward woodwood
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 19:06
without resorting to snipping messages, it's all there from no HB at all to only 2 are def. Common and this was with the ability to sit and study the pix!
once it was clear something was up and the smell of blood was in the air I think we all had a MUCH closer look and a concensus that prob. only the liege/Perthshire birds were def. HB appeared.
let's not be too harsh after all it's entertained us and we've all learnt something I guess.....

Andrew Rowlands
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 19:13
Steve it's been a stalemate since Sunday lunchtime.

Nick says they're all Honeys bar the Finnish ones, everyone else knows better.

Lets kill this thread 'cos Nicks' taken his ball home.

Andy.

Steve
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 19:22
Andy, Ok if nick's thrown his toys outta the pram your argument in the Debate carries weight, But look at it from our point of view
what sort of precedent would we set ourselves if we canned this
Because everyone knows better than nick ? If he's wrong then at least he has the chance to come back later? and if he's right then the same applies to you?

So am I right or wrong ?;)

Andrew Rowlands
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 19:32
Steve ,

Who cares about your waffle?

Nothing positive to add then can it.

Debate is not what I want, just to clear up the confusion, don't think you're helping.

Andy.

Steve
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 19:43
waffle?

Andrew Rowlands
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 19:45
re your first post - you must be missing something.

Andy.

Andrew Rowlands
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 19:49
"your rather sick Bird Forum." - Nicks words not mine.

pers. comm. via email this morning.

Andy.

Steve
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 19:54
Andy, we can only make a judgement on what we see on the forums not E mails.

Cuckoo-shrike
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 20:23
Just got home from work. Wow, this is still going.....
Must say I don't agree with Jasonbirder's comment about human nature being to defend yourself and your views even when in the wrong. Might apply to politicians I suppose, but I like to think that I will admit when I am wrong.
I'm afraid that birders who authoritatively publish stuff like that on the internet, thereby setting themselves up as experts, take the risk of being "shot down". There have not actually been any flames. Any criticism has been extremely diplomatic. No-one has insulted or ridiculed Nick any more than he has insulted us by stating so steadfastly that we are all wrong. He has in effect ridiculed himself by being so utterly intransigent.
His response that Bird Forum is "rather sick" says a lot.

Spar
Wednesday 8th October 2003, 23:06
Hello all,
we all make mistakes,yes Nick put he`s on a public stage, he will learn from this and ultimately he will become stronger.


Spar

wpercy
Thursday 9th October 2003, 07:15
Nick has been claiming Honey Buzzards in Northumberland since 1993,he thinks all those birds that occured in2000 were British juvs,not to mention this recent UNBELIEVABLE cock up,yes we all make mistakes i,m sorry but is rather more than a mistake.

Nick Rossiter
Thursday 9th October 2003, 15:24
A number of points:

Andrew Rowland's request to Dick Forsman was not phrased in a neutral manner (he kindly sent me a copy). He gave the thread url to Dick as well as the comment that people thought they were Common Buzzards. A fairer request would have been to ask Dick just what he thought of my web page without any prompting. In other words a leading question was asked. I'll post his request if people want to see it.

While I of course greatly respect Dick Forsman's views and think he would not have been swayed over-much by the leading question, I don't see how he makes out so well the underwing detail on the photos because it's not clearly visible in many of them. In addition there is a vast amount of information associated with each bird which has not been considered. Video evidence must be the future priority to capture the jizz and that will be something to do next year.

Dick of course has developed a more precise way of identifying HBs from their underwing pattern but it's not so long ago that it was described as one of the most variable raptors in the world (plumage-wise). Fergusson-Lees and Christie place much more emphasis on the jizz.

We don't live in a totalitarian society. I don't have to remove my web page just because there are disagreements about it. I shall of course seriously review it.

I indicated to Andrew Rowlands in a PM that I did think this thread had been constructive. My sick comment (also in a PM but this part published by him) was made after the two further threads had been spawned off it.

Cheers ... Nick

logos
Thursday 9th October 2003, 16:21
Well said Nick,

I think it's a fine idea to go for a video record.

I look forward to seeing the results of your review and wish you luck in your efforts to prove the presence of this species as a breeding bird in your area.

Spud

HH75
Thursday 9th October 2003, 16:35
Hi all,
Nick:"While I of course greatly respect Dick Forsman's views and think he would not have been swayed over-much by the leading question, I don't see how he makes out so well the underwing detail on the photos because it's not clearly visible in many of them."
It may not be clearly visible,but he's Dick Forsman....;-)
Seriously,I remember Dick giving some very helpful advice on how to seperate HB and CB while in Bulgaria:the only problem is that,due to lack of practice,I've forgotten lots of what he told me!
Harry H

wpercy
Thursday 9th October 2003, 16:37
For gods sake,he still thinks there Honeys,forget plumage,they look nothing like Honeys, without looking at plumage,you will see have at no time mentioned plumage...i did not have to they are oh so obvious...moderate me if you like,but i say Nick would not know a Honey if it pecked him on the ar.......nose!.

Colin
Thursday 9th October 2003, 18:38
I am completely confused now. It would seem that there are some Honeys and some Commons in Nicks pictures but some say there are no Honeys and some say some pics are good for Honeys. I am not sure who the experts are now and everyone who did the "coconut" quiz got some wrong first time round especially when two of the pics were of the same bird. I am not an expert by any means but there is one picture where even I can see that it is a Honey Buzzard and that is the one with the two very very distinct bars in the tail, Liege pic 10 and therefore all of the other Liege pics are of Honeys as they are stated to be the same bird, if true. But, as I said I am no expert and am willing to be corrected. Colin dons tin hat and waits.

logos
Thursday 9th October 2003, 18:45
I don't think anyone has (or could!) deny the identity of the Liege bird as a Honey Colin. I've given my own view of the others as mostly, if not entirely, Common but some (a few) of the birds are to my eye unidentifiable. I'm always suspicious of so-called experts but I know that Dick Forsman is the real McCoy and will happily follow his view on those birds which I cannot judge for myself.

Spud

Colin
Thursday 9th October 2003, 18:59
Spud,
Thanks for that. I agree with your comments re Dick Forsman. It is fascinating to follow these threads when in some cases it seems that the id of a bird cannot be definitely ascertained (at least not with the still pics). This appears to what is happening in some of these buzzards pics and in the other current raptor id thread on the Kite/Buzzard one which is running in parallel.

wpercy
Thursday 9th October 2003, 19:28
Colin, the Leige birds are Honeys ,these were added later,the original series of pics that were supposed to be Honeys were all Common exept one.

Andrew Rowlands
Thursday 9th October 2003, 20:58
Hi all,

Just notice Nick's been back!

Re neutrality or not - judge for yourselves - Dick Forsmans reply with my original attached :-

Hi Andy,
I am sorry to inform you, but practically all of the photos on the Honey
Buzz web site are actually Common Buzzards!!! The only convincing Honey
Buzzards I could find were the ones from Liege, Belgium. Also the bird from
Pertshire, Scotland looks like a HB. All the others can be identified as Com
Buzzards.

The pictures are too many to start to go through them one by one, but in
most pictures the pattern of the secondaries, the underwing coverts and the
body show the diagnostic Com Buz characters, while in some cases the shapes
of the birds clearly show them to be Com Buzzards.

In case of any seriously difficult cases I am willing to defend my case
further, but as for the current pictures I think they speak for themself.

Cheers
Dick

----- Original Message -----
From: "satrow" <satrowatyahoo.co.uk>
To: <dickatdickforsman.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 2:25 AM
Subject: Honey Buzzard ID


> Hi Dick,
>
>
> I have created a thread on Bird Forums
> http://www.birdforum.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8930
>
> regarding the correct identification of what are purported to be Honey
> Buzzard photographs on Nick Rossiters website
> http://www.nrossiter.supanet.com/hb/id.htm
>
> The pages have changed substantially since I started the thread,
> primarily with the addition of some very good H. Buzzard photos and
> more detailed texts.
>
> As Nick has been referring to your book in defending what to me look
> like Common Buzzards in some photos, I thought it prudent to contact
> you. I hope that you can spare the time to study his photographs and
> give me your opinion, preferably as part of the thread (which is now
> over 70 posts long), or else personally to myself and or Nick.
>
> Thanking you in anticipation,
>
> Regards,
>
> Andy Rowlands.

Not exactly scathing, is it.

It seemed pretty bald at the time.

How does it read to the rest of you?

Regards,

Andy

Andrew Rowlands
Thursday 9th October 2003, 21:08
Quote from Nick :-

"I indicated to Andrew Rowlands in a PM that I did think this thread had been constructive."

This is the only PM I have received from Nick :-

Re: HB's

"Hi Andy. I shall look forward to seeing Steve at the Conference. I think, from this thread, that we can all learn more about HB id. Have you closed the thread? My last post did not get through. Cheers ... Nick"

Not really the same thing is it?

Andy.

Cuckoo-shrike
Thursday 9th October 2003, 21:11
Does Nick SERIOUSLY believe that Dick Forsman would have come to any other conclusion about the i.d of these birds had Andy phrased his question differently? Talk about clutching at straws.....

Andrew Rowlands
Thursday 9th October 2003, 21:23
And just 4 the record, my reply to Dick Forsman :-

"Hi Dick,

Thanks for your time.

Your summing up mirrors that of a lot of most raptorphiles in the thread:- 'mostly Commons but it's too boring to give a photo by photo account'.

You obviously ARE the man.

Perhaps you could invite Nick Rossiter out on one of your birding trips next year? Even you might find it hard though :).

Kind regards,

Andy.

PS I owe you a pint!"

Not too harsh on Nick was I?

Contrast this with some of the things he has hured my way.

Andy

Edited for yet more carp spelling!

logos
Thursday 9th October 2003, 21:30
Well, I've tried to go easy on Nick here, I've bitten my lip on several occasions and phrased things much more gently than I could have done, but I've got to say that he doesn't do himself any favours does he?

Spud

wpercy
Thursday 9th October 2003, 21:57
well....what an absolute fruit cake!!.

Andrew Rowlands
Thursday 9th October 2003, 23:32
Just re-read 1st para. of Nick's last post.

If I (a complete stranger), sent Dick Forsman an email asking what he thought of another complete stranger's site, WITHOUT reason or explanation, would he? -

a - think I was rude,
b - think it was spam
c - delete it
or
d - answer it politely

Answers on a postcard to this address.....

Cuckoo-shrike
Friday 10th October 2003, 08:01
I had a go at the mystery photo on the "Guess another bird" thread. I went for Hammond's Flycatcher but it turned out to be a Western Wood-pewee. I WAS WRONG.
Hey Nick, that really didn't hurt at all. I don't feel any different and if anyone thinks any less of my i.d. skills, why should I care?
P.S. That flycatcher was however much trickier than those Common Buzzards!

Andrew Rowlands
Saturday 11th October 2003, 17:52
Oh Dear!

Nick has changed his page (again)
5th October 2003: Added photographs for Honey Buzzard from Belgium and annotated photographs (Identification)

11h October 2003: Added photographs for Honey Buzzard from Northumberland and some comparisons with plates from Forsman (Identification)


In reply to his 'attack' therein, on myself and other Forum members :-

Baden Baden 1 plate.
3 birds - 1 Forsman; shows tail and primary pattern of Honey Buzzard.
2 Rossiter; shows tail and primary pattern of Common Buzzard. Also diagnostic of Common Buzzard is the pale breast band and the pale panel through the coverts.
3 Forsman; as 1, note also that the carpal is forward.
If bird 2 is indeed a juvenile HB photographed at the end of July, incubation would have begun before 18th of May and this would be the maiden flight.

Staufen 8 plates.
In at least 5 of these plate, the fine, dense barring on tail, primaries and secondaries. 7 of them show a pale breast band. All diagnostic of Common Buzzard.

(Goshawk predation is mentioned here. This tends to occur at or near the nest site. Goshawk will attempt to eliminate any other raptors or owls within their territory. Honey Buzzards are quite adept at chasing them off.)


Leisburg 2 plates.
Fine, dense barring on primaries, pale panel through coverts. Common Buzzard.

Hexhamshire 5 plates.
Plate 1; fine, dense barring on primaries. Common Buzzard.

Derwent 3 plates.
I'll leave these to Wayne.

Allen 5 plates.
Plates 1 and 5; fine, dense barring on primaries and secondaries, pale breast band. Common Buzzard.

Hexham (july) 5 plates.
Fine, dense barring on primaries and secondaries. Common Buzzard.

Bywell 2 plates.
Wayne!

South Tyne 4 plates.
Common Buzzard (for all the above reasons).

Perthshire 4 Plates.
Probably Honey Buzzard (shape of leading edge). See Baden Baden, Forsman plate 23.

Tampere 2 plates.
Breast band, fine, dense barring on flight feathers.

Regards,

Andy.

wpercy
Saturday 11th October 2003, 19:45
Andy,
i'll have a proper look later,what can i say...this man needs medical help,he will also require stiches if he doesn't get my name off of his crappy pathetic web site, i dont want my good reputation ruined by being associated with that utter rubbish.

wpercy
Saturday 11th October 2003, 20:03
Thanks for leaving the hard ones for me,Bywell andDewent look like Common,one image shows longish tail (juv)another shows head looking rather small prob just the angle,difficult shots though.

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 12th October 2003, 01:54
"These birds both took evasive action against a passing Goshawk Accipiter gentilis by moving on their sides and showing their talons. Goshawks are well-established predators of young Honey Buzzards." - Nick re Staufen plates.


In Germany, territories defended against con- and interspecifics throughout the year, including Common Buzzards (Buteo buteo; Kostrzewa 1991). Raptors killed by Goshawks include Long-eared Owls (Asio otus), Tawny Owls (Strix aluco), nestling Honey Buzzards (Pernis apivorus), nestling and adult Common Buzzards, nestling and adult Sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus), other Goshawks (Kostrzewa 1991).


Shows that Nick's research is poor or his reporting is biased towards misinformation.

http://www.sk58.freeserve.co.uk/rare%20bird%20descriptions.htm (almost half-way down the page) :-
is a field description of a real juv Honey Buzzard.
"The bird glided on flat wings that were held outstretched. Not brought forward and held up as in Common Buzzard Buteo buteo (fig. 5 & 6)."


Take a look at :-

http://digilander.libero.it/Avifaunacesenate/pecchia.jpg
http://www.natuurbeleving.be/vogels/Wespendief_pernis-apivorus.html
http://www.birdguides.com/html/vidlib/terms.asp?footageID=378
http://www.birdguides.com/html/vidlib/terms.asp?footageID=377
http://mrw.wallonie.be/cgi/dgrne/sibw/sibw.photos.pl?CODE=152
http://mrw.wallonie.be/cgi/dgrne/sibw/sibw.photos.pl?CODE=153

Note the LACK of fine, dense barring on flight and tail feathers.
The above are all of real Honey Buzzards, compare these to most of Nicks birds.


Andy.

wpercy
Sunday 12th October 2003, 08:16
I will explain again about the "pressed foward wings"I,ll stand by my claim of a few days ago that Forsmans comments on this has got to be a mistake (printers i guess),you should not use this feature for indentifing Honey Buzzard,a bird with a WELL pressed forward wing is almost definately going to be a Common, any good birder would not rely on just one feature anyway,i will always advise to anyone with less expierence with Honey..for example...look for flat wings,but back it up quickly with other things...small head,long tail,etc. Nick seems unable to do this ,he latches on to one feature he thinks is good for Honey and thats it.
With birding you can never say "never" or "always",in some instances a honey may appear to have a foward wing, but saying that you also get Commons on flat wings and the odd Honey on a slight "v",you should not use the foward wing thing to i.d a Honey,if the wings are well forward the chances are its going to be a Common.

John Cantelo
Sunday 12th October 2003, 12:32
Hi all,

Interesting to see that this debate has re-ignited! I thought and still think that most of the birds on Nick’s page (with the exception of the widely touted exceptions) are Common Buzzard (or identifiable). It ought to be said once again that with such relatively poor quality shots it isn’t always easy to be 100% adamant, angles can distort and foreshortening can confuse! (.. and it’s hard enough to recall which ones you printed off!). Put it this way, few of them would find space in a photographic guide to BoPs. We can look Nick’s photos all day, but 30 secs with a living HB teaches you far more!

What I cannot understand is how Nick can’t see the very different shape/jizz evident in the ‘accepted’ HBs from Belgium. I’ve read some of Nick’s comments (eg tail length/wing width) and simply don’t see what he does in the photos. I honestly think the man is kidding himself – not something any of us are immune to! You shouldn’t need to witter on about precise moult features to identify a HB – on a reasonable view or in a decent photo they’re simply not that hard! I am also disquieted by the fact that ‘accepted’ HB photos come from well within it’s known range whilst the preponderance of the disputed IDs come from areas where CBs are frequent and the presence of HBs is a matter of dispute.

It’s clear that, by setting up his website Nick has planted his flag as an “expert” on HBs and if he’s had a bit of grief over his IDs then it is solely his own responsibility. Frankly, I think the criticism has been pretty polite and gentlemanly – and largely deserved since so many of the photos would mislead the innocent. When one person tells you you’re wrong you need to check, when a chorus tells you you’re wrong you need to double check and when that chorus is joined by a genuine 100% world expert, then it’s time to reconsider your position! To slightly misquote Oliver Cromwell “I beseech, Nick, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken!” Nick has worked hard on his site and to retreat from his views is to ask a great deal, but, at this stage, I think he’d gain more respect should he do so than cling onto what is clearly a hopeless position. Alternatively, Nick should get out there and get some clear unequivocal shots of HBs in Northumberland. For the sake of our HB population I’d still like to be proved wrong!

John

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 12th October 2003, 20:05
Steve Roberts, Reg Thorpe, Mike Coleman and Malcolm Cowlard; who along with Wayne Percy have between them probebly seen more honey buzzards than Nick Rossiter's had cooked dinners; have all viewed the pictures. To save Nick more embarrassment why doesn't he give Steve Roberts a ring, he has his number.

Cheers,

Andy.

cuddy
Sunday 12th October 2003, 20:36
For what it is worth the local bird club has taken a keen interest in this thread, and will be investigating further .

It has been interesting reading, and it is perhaps a lesson to us all that id is not such a straight foreward issue we all suppose.

I dont speak on behalf of my local bird club on this issue, just as a Northumbrian birder with an interest in what we as a county present to the rest of the Uk as reliable info.

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 12th October 2003, 21:12
Cheers Cuddy,

I guessed (from the silence) that someone was looking in. Get the lads (and lasses) together next summer and confirm breeding. We'd all love to know their true satus across Britain.

Regards,

Andy.

wpercy
Monday 13th October 2003, 07:16
I dont know much about Gulls,but the birds on Nicks site have got to be worth a look by someone experienced!!.

wpercy
Monday 13th October 2003, 07:29
Just noticed that Nick seems to have added to his site again,he has put a few words on his"field experience" also how he says howhas more birds than me and my friends.come on Nick do you think anyone is EVER going to believe you again.
I was very pleased to read cuddys comments(well done cuddy).
I am getting every one i know to look at this site,and i for one will not stop untill his work is thrown out.

Jeff Taylor
Monday 13th October 2003, 11:06
Hi all
All you guy's bitching,about Honey Buzzards!Take a look at this
Website:www.roydennis.org
And dig deep into you're pockets for a truly excellent cause.

Toodle Pip
Jeff Taylor

John Cantelo
Monday 13th October 2003, 11:32
Ho hum! Nick still thinks has photos of HBs not CBs and is annotating his plates accordingly. So, Nick, here's an offer and a challenge - I've carefully annotated one of the photos of the Staufen birds using no comments other than quotations from the 'Collins Bird Guide' to illustrate the features shown by Common and Honey Buzzards. (This text should be available to the largest No of birders to cross check for themselves) . I've not added any editorial, but am content for the descriptions to stand besides the photo and speak for themselves. Visiting birders to make up their own mind about what the species is from the authoritative, but in a sense 'neutral', text . So how about adding it to your site? By all means add any points you see fit yourself, but only as long as they're direct quotes from the same book.

John

Andrew Rowlands
Monday 13th October 2003, 11:35
Jeff,

Without some of these guy's bitching, Roy Dennis would be satellite tracking his back pocket this year!

Andy.

See also last post http://www.birdforum.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=9006

Colin
Monday 13th October 2003, 11:50
Cuddy/Andy,
Interesting to hear what you propose re getting the facts next year on breeding or otherwise in NE England. I believe that HBs are breeding in an area in SW England but I have no data as yet to support my theory. I will report back, with confidentiality, if I find any proof. Maybe it is time for some sort of concerted effort for a countrywide survey as already intimated. Any thoughts?

Wayne,
Thanks for explaining the addition of pictures - with the large number of posts, I was losing track of it all.

HH75
Monday 13th October 2003, 11:51
Hi all,
As I previously stated,my experience of Honey Buzzard is extremely limited,and I don't see Common Buzzards that regularly either,so I wish to reiterate the point that I'm not criticising Nick's(tentative?) ID of some of the photos(at least some of which show obvious Common Buzzards in my opinion,but with the proviso that it's hard to judge the ID of a bird from photographs at times)
What I DO wish to point out is that at the bottom of the HB ID page,the following is now written in large lettering:
"Vengeance is a dish best served cold!"
Surely if NR feels that he is correct in his identifications,then there is no need to descend to such petty remarks on what is intended as a web page on identification?What would anyone who hasn't seen the debate here (and was thus unaware of the context) make of the remark?
Harry H

Edward woodwood
Monday 13th October 2003, 18:30
the website states that the Allen birds were seen in the well known Honey Buzzard display flight.....where does that leave things at least as far as these birds are concerned?!
this is not a loaded comment merely an observation. Were they HB looking remarkably CB or CB doing an HB dance?!!! What would account for this confusion?
Are we reaching an impasse here? Or was that a while back......

wpercy
Monday 13th October 2003, 18:40
The Allen birds are Common Buzzards.

Edward woodwood
Monday 13th October 2003, 18:42
wouldn't disagree for a minute personally Wayne!!!
but the display?
what do we make of that?

logos
Monday 13th October 2003, 19:03
I notice that Mr Rossiter is now quoting me on his website as stating that Honey Buzzards do not fly with their wings pressed forward. I have never said any such thing as anyone who cares to re-read this thread will realise.

This is not the first time that Mr Rossiter has either misquoted or mis-attributed comments made here and this simply serves to exemplify his utter disregard for detail, something which is all to apparent in his 'identifications'.

Words fail me....

Spud

Added: regarding the Honey Buzzard like display reportedly observed, can we be sure that the birds in question were not Lapwings?

Edward woodwood
Monday 13th October 2003, 19:10
oooooohhhh cutting Spud!
:t:

Spar
Monday 13th October 2003, 19:12
:stuck: :stuck:

Spar

wpercy
Monday 13th October 2003, 20:18
Tim, the display? with the birds being Commons,its obviously just another mistake on Nicks part,i,m really now lost for words,the more i think about all this the more i find it quite unbelievable.
Before anyone mentions the bird with its wings up,this is not the "wings above back butterfly display"just another good old Common,(possibly about to perform a display dive).
Cheers Wayne.

Edward woodwood
Monday 13th October 2003, 20:52
thanx Wayne
cheers for extra info and clarification on the dive/display
kinda guessed as much but good to hear it from a seasoned HB watcher
:clap:

Grampy Bustard
Monday 13th October 2003, 22:20
I am interested in the email labelled as 'Dick Forsman', and at first glance it certainly gives the impression of being a Forsman, but other characteristics give me cause for concern. There are no visual clues as to where the email was taken, which would certainly have helped, but the jizz of the email is just not right for Forsman. It seems a little 'light', lacking in what I would expect to see from such a man. What clinches it for me is the spelling of the word Perthshire (refer SATROW posting 9 Oct 2158), and counting back the letters descendently letter 6 is clearly missing. I do not believe this is due to moult, as a Forsman, like any Scandinavian, has a better grasp of English than most English birders, and I believe it to be more indicative of a Common Birder.
I will admit to having no field experience of a Forsman, but many thousands of hours of Com Birders. As with all ID opinions, I am open to input from anyone with superior knowledge....
;) ;) ;)

Andrew Rowlands
Monday 13th October 2003, 22:24
X-Apparently-To: satrowatyahoo.co.uk via 216.109.118.104; Mon, 06 Oct 2003 23:13:11 -0700
Return-Path: <dickatdickforsman.com>
Received: from 193.229.0.41 (EHLO fep01-app.kolumbus.fi) (193.229.0.41) by mta419.mail.yahoo.com with SMTP; Mon, 06 Oct 2003 23:13:10 -0700
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Message-ID: <[email protected]>
From: "Dick Forsman" <dickatdickforsman.com>
To: "satrow" <satrowatyahoo.co.uk>
References: <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Honey Buzzard ID
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2003 09:16:02 +0300
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
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Hi Andy,
I am sorry to inform you, but practically all of the photos on the Honey
Buzz web site are actually Common Buzzards!!! The only convincing Honey
Buzzards I could find were the ones from Liege, Belgium. Also the bird from
Pertshire, Scotland looks like a HB. All the others can be identified as Com
Buzzards.

The pictures are too many to start to go through them one by one, but in
most pictures the pattern of the secondaries, the underwing coverts and the
body show the diagnostic Com Buz characters, while in some cases the shapes
of the birds clearly show them to be Com Buzzards.

In case of any seriously difficult cases I am willing to defend my case
further, but as for the current pictures I think they speak for themself.

Cheers
Dick

----- Original Message -----
From: "satrow" <satrowatyahoo.co.uk>
To: <dickatdickforsman.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 2:25 AM
Subject: Honey Buzzard ID


> Hi Dick,
>
>
> I have created a thread on Bird Forums
> http://www.birdforum.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8930
>
> regarding the correct identification of what are purported to be Honey
> Buzzard photographs on Nick Rossiters website
> http://www.nrossiter.supanet.com/hb/id.htm
>
> The pages have changed substantially since I started the thread,
> primarily with the addition of some very good H. Buzzard photos and
> more detailed texts.
>
> As Nick has been referring to your book in defending what to me look
> like Common Buzzards in some photos, I thought it prudent to contact
> you. I hope that you can spare the time to study his photographs and
> give me your opinion, preferably as part of the thread (which is now
> over 70 posts long), or else personally to myself and or Nick.
>
> Thanking you in anticipation,
>
> Regards,
>
> Andy Rowlands.
>
>
>


__________ NOD32 1.528 (20031006) Information __________

This message was checked by NOD32 Antivirus System.
http://www.nod32.com

I'm no expert on email tracking, Grampy, but here it is with full header.

Andy.

Andrew Rowlands
Monday 13th October 2003, 22:27
P'raps the next time I mail him, Roy Dennis can attach a transmitter?

Michael Frankis
Monday 13th October 2003, 22:53
And now having given Dick's e-mail address away to every spam robot on the web, I'm sure he'll be delighted . . . . :storm:

Please, lets all think a bit more carefully about what we say! (all sides of the debate)

Michael

logos
Monday 13th October 2003, 22:57
what debate?

Grampy Bustard
Tuesday 14th October 2003, 20:04
Sorry... I was attempting satire.

On a serious note, anyone can express opinion and be allowed to be heard. However, anyone who expresses what they consider to be fact, is fair game.

wpercy
Thursday 23rd October 2003, 18:00
Nice to see Nicks good old Honey Buzzard site still on the web,just gives more and more people an opportunity to see what a huge mistake he has made.

John Cantelo
Thursday 23rd October 2003, 22:58
Yes, it's amazing that the detailed and unanimopus criticism of the identification of these birds as Honey Buzzards by, amongst others a world expert like Dick Forsman, doesn't seem to have dented Nick Rossiter's confidence one wit. I don't claim to be in the same class, but I sent him a details analysis of one of the 'Staufen Buzzards' which, in my view conclusively demonstrated that it was a Common Buzzard. I was hoping he'd respond and explain why I was 'wrong'! Sadly, he failed to acknowledge my communication so is presumably sulking and not subject to reason . Reading the academic part of his site it's clear that he's very bright academically, but he must have an ego the size of a medium sized planet not to have retracted or, apparently reconsidered, any of his identifications. The real shame is that he's obviously passionately concerned about the future of this charismatic species, but just can't see that, by peddling spurious claims, he's actually damaging what he cherishes most.
John

Spar
Thursday 23rd October 2003, 23:19
Agree it is sad, maybe he will in the far future learn from this?
Good luck Nick,

Lol Spar

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 9th November 2003, 01:21
Nick may well have his big day!

In less than two weeks SJR is giving a talk to his regional raptor group! For those of you that have not been invited, hard luck, it is apparently over-subscribed(quelle surprise).

Oh to be a fly on the wall!

Will someone who is going, please make all haste to report back to the Forum? (That means you 'lurkers' too).

Andy,

(jealous 'cos he's not been invited).

Osprey
Sunday 9th November 2003, 01:33
Hi Andy,

Can you check the link address please - it doesn't work for me

Can vouch for Nick Rossiter though, the stuff on the website will be reliable.

Michael

No problem with the link here! Don't use explorer browser though.

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 9th November 2003, 02:00
No problem with the link here! Don't use explorer browser though.
"Hi all,
http://www.nrossiter.supanet.com/hb/id.htm
New? page with links to photographs and sound of Honey Buzzards in Germany, Finland, Scotland and Northumbria.

Comments please :)

Andy.

Last edited by satrow on Saturday 4th October 2003 at 20:14.

I should think it would work in Internet Explorer.

Jane, what do you think?

Andy.

wpercy
Sunday 16th November 2003, 09:04
Nick Rossiter has now changed the two photos taken at the dump in Finland.....he has removed the pics of the obvious COMMON BUZZARD and replaced them with a real Honey Buzzard.....!!!..........

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 16th November 2003, 10:46
Nick Rossiter has now changed the two photos taken at the dump in Finland.....he has removed the pics of the obvious COMMON BUZZARD and replaced them with a real Honey Buzzard.....!!!..........

This is the bird that Nick tried to back down from "not my call but....", or similar.

From my annotations, Saturday 11th October, in this thread; "Tampere 2 plates.
Breast band, fine, dense barring on flight feathers".

I do have a 'copy' of his site as it was a few days after the thread started if anyone needs confirmation.

Cheers,

Andy.

Jane Turner
Sunday 16th November 2003, 11:09
I missed it all!

Jane Turner
Sunday 16th November 2003, 11:16
Ok Ok..clearly I have been misidentify Honey Buzzarrds all my life.. I've seen hundreds in the UK it would appear.

The Perthshire ones look good... and the Finnish one is unequivoval.

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 16th November 2003, 11:20
I missed it all!

Not too late to take a look, Jane.

Probably best to concentrate on the 'Northumbrian birds'

A lot of the others have been added or changed since the thread started.

Cheers,

Andy.

Jane Turner
Sunday 16th November 2003, 11:23
I thought all of them were Common Buzzard on a first look.

Will go and get more anlytical in a second

Jane Turner
Sunday 16th November 2003, 11:29
http://www.n-a-rossiter.supanet.com/hb/northumberland%2012%

I wouldn't look at this twice if I saw it... apart from the unusually dark plumage, it doesn't really have any Bunney character to it

I'll buy these one on structure

http://www.n-a-rossiter.supanet.com/hb/northumberland%2029%
http://www.n-a-rossiter.supanet.com/hb/northumberland%2029%

Don't like the head OR tail on this one
http://www.n-a-rossiter.supanet.com/hb/northumberland%2013%

Sorry links don't work

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 16th November 2003, 11:31
I thought all of them were Common Buzzard on a first look.

Will go and get more anlytical in a second

The following threads are also of relevance:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=9006

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=9741

Cheers,

Andy.

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 16th November 2003, 11:34
[QUOTE=Jane Turner(Snip)Sorry links don't work[/QUOTE]

Try location and number :)

Andy.

Jane Turner
Sunday 16th November 2003, 11:43
Hexhamshire 12 May 2002, adult female 1-3 shout common Buzzard at me on structure...a dark one. If 4 really is the same bird then I get a little less certain...moving into the not proven box.


Derwent area 29 August 2002, adult female OK...I'll buy this one on structure

Allen 7 June 2003, pair displaying 3and 4 look like classic Bunneys, 1,2... hmm not sure, 5 looks fiddled with

Hexhamshire 13 July 2003
2 and 4 look pretty Common Buzz-like, though long tisled admittedly

Jane Turner
Sunday 16th November 2003, 11:44
Tiseled = tailed, though I prefer the former!

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 16th November 2003, 11:53
Hexhamshire 12 May 2002, adult female 1-3 shout common Buzzard at me on structure...a dark one. If 4 really is the same bird then I get a little less certain...moving into the not proven box.


Derwent area 29 August 2002, adult female OK...I'll buy this one on structure

Allen 7 June 2003, pair displaying 3and 4 look like classic Bunneys, 1,2... hmm not sure, 5 looks fiddled with

Hexhamshire 13 July 2003
2 and 4 look pretty Common Buzz-like, though long tisled admittedly

From post 135;
Allen 5 plates.
Plates 1 and 5; fine, dense barring on primaries and secondaries, pale breast band. Common Buzzard.

Will check whether these are the same as the 'original' tomorrow.

Andy.

John Cantelo
Sunday 16th November 2003, 12:42
Curioser and curioser! As already pointed out the Finnish rubish tip photos have mysteriously changed to include a good photo of Honey Buzzard. It's not entirely clear whether these later shots are supposed to show the same bird or another one on a different occasion. Oddly the foreword to the ID page listing alterations/updates doesn't note when this change was made. Yet so many photos remain that are either too poor to be 100% certain or clearly show Comon Buzzard. To my mind the most obvious of the latter is fig 8 in the Staufen series. Shape and plumage details all shout Comon Buzzard. I'm still waiting the courtesy of a response from Mr Rossiter to my detailed analysis of why the photos show Common rather than Honey Buzzard. I can only suppose that, like the original Finnish photos, he realises that they are indefensible as Honey Buzzard. John

Cuckoo-shrike
Sunday 16th November 2003, 12:58
And he doesn't even credit us all for putting him straight!

John Cantelo
Sunday 16th November 2003, 15:33
I’ve now had a little more time to look at Nick Rossiter’s alterations to his Honey Buzzard page. Far from proving his case (as is presumably his intention) these alterations beg even more questions about the author’s proposed identifications. The comments regarding flight identification contains the following gem – “It is important not to read too much into the plumage features shown on the underside of the wings”. Note that “features shown” rather than are “difficult to see” or “obscured” in these photographs. Presumably this is an invitation to ignore visible plumage features that run counter to the identification of these birds as Honey Buzzard! In Rossiter-speak I could add “Northumberland Honey Buzzard expert claims plumage features of the underwing are not important in Honey Buzzard identification”. …but that would be unfair, wouldn’t it?

Bizarrely the whole of his discussion of proportions and ratios of wing/tail length as shown in photographs makes no mention of the well known problems of distortion engendered by telephoto lenses. Nor does it make clear which of the individual photographs were used to obtain the ratios. I don’t think analysing them as a ‘job lot’ works as apparent proportions can vary from shot to shot. In truth I didn’t find any of the analysis convincing (I never was good at Maths) and suspect a statistical sleight of hand. Lies, damned lies and statistics …. This conviction being confirmed by the simple expedient of referring back to the photos of the questionable identifications … yup, they’re still Common Buzzards!

Moving on to the caption with regard to the bird on the Finnish dump, the earlier version (already slightly amended) reads:-
"Not my initial shout but spotted at last year's International Gull Meeting by an experienced local birdwatcher. Tail is damaged affecting appearance. In pose 1 underbody is uniform, wings are almost clear of barring, black is only on finger tips, bill is dark and fairly straight".
… and the latest edition reads:-
"Not my initial shout but spotted at last year's International Gull Meeting by an experienced local birdwatcher. These were the two photographs taken in Finland. The photographs posted here earlier referred to another encounter. Picture 2 was taken over the tip with slightly more under-lighting than over woodland. The right wing shows a thick band over the outer primaries. This band is less clear on the left wing. The tail shows a distinct subterminal band and at least one further band towards the base. This bird looked like a male in the field. It is very interesting that it is moulting an inner primary (P1 or P2) on each wing. Such moult in August excludes Common Buzzard of any age".

What was he wrote about not to reading too much into the plumage features shown on the underside of the wings?

The questions that come to my mind and which Mr Rossiter ought to address are
a) What were the other two photos? What encounter?
b) Does he still maintain that they were of Honey Buzzards?
c) If so, why has he changed these photos?
d) If these aren’t the photos he claimed them to be shouldn’t he apologise for publishing inaccurate information on his website?

.... and PLEASE Mr Rossiter can we have some straight forwards answers regarding how come his "HBs" show plumage features and proportions associated with CBs and not a degeneration into quasi-scientific gibberish

John

wpercy
Sunday 16th November 2003, 21:46
I dont think we will here from Nick i think the man is finished as a birder, or he certainly will be after the raptor conference in Cumbria soon.

Jasonbirder
Sunday 16th November 2003, 21:55
i think the man is finished as a birder, or he certainly will be after the raptor conference

Am I the only one that feels somewhat uneasy about the triumphalist tone to that posting?

I mean come on...

finished as a birder

Whats this guy done, what heinous crime has he commited?
Stolen Eggs? Disturbed breeding birds? Revealed secret nest sites?
Oh no! He`s mis-identified Common Buzzards as Honey Buzzards - lets face it an all too easy pitfall.
Give the guy a break - he`s wrong and his attitude to criticism could be better, but for christ sake - he obviously has bags of enthusiasm and a love for his subject he`s not some kind of birding criminal!

Jane Turner
Sunday 16th November 2003, 22:05
Jason... No you are not alone....

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 16th November 2003, 22:11
Am I the only one that feels somewhat uneasy about the triumphalist tone to that posting?

I mean come on...



Whats this guy done, what heinous crime has he commited?
Stolen Eggs? Disturbed breeding birds? Revealed secret nest sites?
Oh no! He`s mis-identified Common Buzzards as Honey Buzzards - lets face it an all too easy pitfall.
Give the guy a break - he`s wrong and his attitude to criticism could be better, but for christ sake - he obviously has bags of enthusiasm and a love for his subject he`s not some kind of birding criminal!

Somewhat over the top, I agree, maybe 'finished as a self-proclaimed Honey Buzzard identification guru' would have been a better way of putting it.

I am confident that ordinarily, Nick is, and has been a competant birder. He has just got carried away with a bird that is relatively new to his area (Common Buzzard), and has tried too hard to prove what he is misinterpreting.

Cheers,

Andy.

Cuckoo-shrike
Monday 17th November 2003, 07:51
Yes Jason, anyone would think he'd tried to make a stand against irresponsible twitchers........
What would you say in his defence about the statement on his website about revenge?

Jasonbirder
Monday 17th November 2003, 08:35
Oh how wrong of me....you must be right!

The guy has made some errors identifying Common & Honey Buzzards - hound him out of birding immediately! As for the having his own website - the sheer temerity of it!

He should have his binoculars confiscated immediately and be banished from ever setting foot on a reserve again.

3 years and no parole - acceptance back into the birding fold if he spends a year counting corvid roosts!

Why stop there? Only the other day I was chatting to someone who thought an elusive Yellow-browed Warbler might be a Humes Warbler, should I have performed a "citizens arrest" and paraded him for ridicule before stripping him of his field guide?

Look at the facts - Nick is a keen birdwatcher - he`s obviously interested in and cares deeply for the birds ( and especially raptors) in his local area. He`s put in the hard work and effort setting up his own website (time consuming as I know myself!) He has made some errors and reacted badly to criticism - but hey some of the criticism here has been way over the top - so I can`t blame hime for getting a bit paranoid. Why not leave the poor guy alone - stop trying to humiliate him and hope that with a bit of time to cool feelings down everyone can be the best of friends?

Unless i`ve missed something birding in Britain isn`t exactly over populated with keen, committed individuals of any skill level - i for one would rather have one more, rather than one less!

helenh
Monday 17th November 2003, 08:47
Well said Jason!

Jane Turner
Monday 17th November 2003, 08:54
Yeah.

I better put my self away for at least 5 years. I'm pretty sure I misidentified a few seabirds in my time...and once I thought a man on a bike with a buff and blue hat was a Jay. In my denfence, he was cycling through a wood and he did have squeaky brakes.

Perhaps self-flagellation is the answer.

cuddy
Monday 17th November 2003, 14:35
I have met Nick a couple of times, he is a nice guy and i believe he completly believes he is seeing HB,s im sure things will be resolved one way or the other soon.

Its easy to take a pop at someone but in this case i think some are out just to take a pop, i have yet to meet a birder who has not miss identified a bird, there have been plenty of examples on this bird forum, for me it is a learning curve it is nice to get the opinions of others.
I hope this forum will keep a sensible perspective and not degenerate into slagging other users as so many other forums have.

Jasonbirder
Monday 17th November 2003, 14:39
Hear! Hear! Well said that man.

Jasonbirder
Monday 17th November 2003, 14:53
I dont think we will here from Nick i think the man is finished as a birder, or he certainly will be after the raptor conference in Cumbria soon.

Would be nice to think there might be 1 or 2 more important things on the agenda - what with illegal poisoning, persecution of Hen Harriers, the success of various re-introduction projects etc.
Can`t imagine that Nick Rossiters ID skills will be a big issue for most people attending!

Spar
Monday 17th November 2003, 15:01
(Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.)

Come on, it is only a wrong I.D. I would hope he is not "finished as a birder",we are becoming a rare specie ourselves in the U.K.we need more people who are obviously as keen as Nick.

Spar(I will retreat behind the drawbridge now)

wpercy
Monday 17th November 2003, 18:44
I make no apologies for saying what i did,but Satrow is right,it should be "finished as a H.B. guru",and for those of you who say all he has done is mis indentify some Honeys that must be the understatement of the century,this guy has published a paper on breeding Honeys in Northumberland ,he says they started breeding in i think 1995,he says there are 9 pairs,he talks of productivity and fledging dates but has never found a nest!!.this guy also refuses to accept the word of very experianced H.B watchers inc Dick Forsman that nearly all his birds were Commons and interestly ALL the images first shown for Northumberland were definitely Commons.
He still has his stupid web site on,and still full of rubbish and Commons that he thinks are Honeys.
Think of of the good raptor guys in the north and there reputations.
Also the sheer arrogance of the man, and that stupid vengeance thing is i guess aimed at me and satrow,what a laugh, its really hurt me-him trying to make me look stupid by quoting me as saying Honeys dont soar on wings pressed more forward,... hey Nick its a fact you plank.

Steve
Monday 17th November 2003, 19:20
Please remember that this site is what it is because, although we allow healthy debate, name calling and other childish banter is not on the menu. We have let this thread run because of the interest it has caused, but if members cannot contain themselves and play by the rules then this thread will be locked and the aggressor(s) will be suspended from BirdForum until they have settled their differences by e-mail, mail, carrier pigeon or whatever.

That is the official line. On a personal note, whether someone correctly identifies birds or not is part of the game we are playing. If one guy thinks the bird is a Honey Buzzard and genuinely believes it, then he must have his reasons. If he is wrong, then pointing it out and saying why is fine, and helps others to learn, but banging on and on and on and on about who's right and who's wrong is ridiculous.

Regards,
Steve

cuddy
Monday 17th November 2003, 19:32
Many Northumberland birders have expressed opinions about reported breeding Honey buzzards some in support some against, this has been going on for quite a while.
I hope that this thread has given those with the power to make the right descisions the chance to make a valued point of view that will eventually come to the right descision.

As a Northumberland birder i do care that all the info provided up here is the best that can be provided for my county so that birdwatchers in other areas can feel comfortable with that info.

I my few travels to other areas i have found many debateble records so it is in our interest to get it right as much as we can,we all make mistakes it is easy to pick faults, it is more important that we all help to get it right.
In Nicks defence i fully believe he is reporting what he believes he is seeing, however there are some who are up here who are wrong in there observations.

I have made my share of mistakes, how many of Nicks critics can say the same?

Cuddy

Steve G
Monday 17th November 2003, 19:47
I have never been happy with the tone of this thread as fairly quickly it was apparent that prestige & reputations were at stake. It was for that reason I set the Honey Buzzard quiz -which as many will remember included pictures of Common Buzzard from my own garden which were universally labelled by all participants as Honey Buzzard. Identification of such variable species as HB will always pose problems -perhaps more so in those with scientific backgrounds who have not had the benefit of hard-slog apprenticeships in the field. Without taking sides I had hoped that this thread could have led to something more productive but instead it has polarized into 2 factions with Nick R. currently winning the sympathy vote & perhaps holding the moral high ground. That said it is now difficult to treat the HB website with anything other than a negative critique as it purports to be a platform for advancing HB ecology/biology but contains ID inaccuracies which to some are bordering on the offensive..............
........................................It does however, beat the hell out of Eastenders!

wpercy
Monday 17th November 2003, 21:40
I speak speak my mind,..i dont try and pretend i am something that i am not (like some on here)Steve talks of name calling and childishness,i guess he has never thought anyone was an idiot or whatever,the difference is i`m not scared to say it,....who is Steve anyway?,i guess he must be a moderater or something to speak of of locking the thread and booting me off.

Jasonbirder
Monday 17th November 2003, 21:46
I guess what Steve is trying to say (and he`s right, moderator or not) is that on an ostensibly friendly forum like this, its Ok to criticise someones postings but better not to criticise the person

wpercy
Monday 17th November 2003, 21:58
I guess i'm to horible for this forum,best i shoot off!!!.

Jasonbirder
Monday 17th November 2003, 22:19
No Wpercy (i`m no moderator so in some ways its none of my business) but don`t shoot off....you`ve obviously got plenty of value to say and it would be a shame for eveyone to lose it. Its just my opinion that this thread has got a little too personal (and hey - i`m all for heated debate as everyone knows!).

Edward woodwood
Monday 17th November 2003, 23:04
Watcha folks

‘Calm down, calm down’ as the scousers say (‘scuse me Jane!) . It’s all getting a bit silly isn’t it?
Wayne – I’ve never met you, but you speak common sense and I like that, so for what it’s worth don’t go anywhere – continue to speak your mind.
Most regular contributors know the jist of this thread and if they don’t agree then all they have to do is abstain from it. The weird comments about vengeance or whatever, and the changing of photos on the HB website is kind of asking for it a bit..... There comes a time when a bit of humility goes a long long way.
I’m sure the HB business will all come out in the wash..........and after all, everyone’s comments are recorded for posterity and won’t be changed at a later date.

Jane Turner
Monday 17th November 2003, 23:24
No offence taken.... I have a Chester postcode I'll have you know

Edward woodwood
Monday 17th November 2003, 23:39
Oooooh get you!

wpercy
Wednesday 19th November 2003, 19:16
I'm still here,i didn't mean ...shoot off as in ..jack it in...just off to bed.
Nice to know one or two you cares....awhhh !!.

logos
Saturday 22nd November 2003, 20:23
could someone give the dates of the Cumbria Raptor Conference mentioned earlier and perhaps a list of the topics/ speakers.

Thanks

Spud

Waffle is a dish best served warm

wpercy
Saturday 22nd November 2003, 21:24
The Raptor conference is i believe next weekend,speakers include...Steve Roberts (Honey Buzzards).,Rob Clements (Hobby)., Ian Carter(Red Kite).,
John Day (Harriers).,i also think Brian Etheridge is talking,but i'm not sure what about.there are probably more but these are the ones i know of.

logos
Saturday 22nd November 2003, 21:49
Cheers Wayne,

Spud

Andrew Rowlands
Sunday 23rd November 2003, 00:54
could someone give the dates of the Cumbria Raptor Conference mentioned earlier and perhaps a list of the topics/ speakers.

Thanks

Spud

Waffle is a dish best served warm

Hi Spud,

I think it has just happened; SJR was not at the local last night!

No idea who else was on tho.....

Andy.

Stephen Dunstan
Sunday 23rd November 2003, 11:07
In case there is still any doubt the raptor conference was held yesterday.

Stephen.

sparrowbirder
Wednesday 3rd December 2003, 17:05
just found this thread.. fascinating stuff,,ive got a photo of a real honey buzzard taken in spain which ill post when ive time,,at least i hope its a b****y real one

logos
Wednesday 3rd December 2003, 18:02
is this the most viewed thread ever on Birdforum?

Spud

Andy Bright
Wednesday 3rd December 2003, 18:14
is this the most viewed thread ever on Birdforum?

SpudQuite probably. The length of this thread has become rather excessive and it may be time to close it off as it appears to have run it's course. Feel free to start a new thread if required.
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