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Raptor - Possible Honey Buzzard - Belgium

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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 22:06   #1
djw0208
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Raptor - Possible Honey Buzzard - Belgium

Hi,

No photos and I didn't see it for long - but as I was travelling along the E40 motorway - probably around Bruges area, I saw a Raptor sitting on a post on the edge of the road. It was definitely Buzzard size but the front and even the head looked 'white' to me and the front also looked quite 'shaggy'. It had darker brown wings.

Looking at internet photos later, I think it could have been a honey buzzard - but how likely is that? It looks like they winter further south, so don't know how likely it is that they would be further north?

I know it is difficult without pictures but is that most likely? I don't know what else it could have been?

Many Thanks
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 22:09   #2
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sorry no chance honey in Jan!!!
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 22:13   #3
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Rough-legged Buzzard would be the other one if not Common Buzzard - definitely not a Honey Buzzard at this time of year., and very unlikely beside the road anyway.

Common Buzzards are also pretty variable (some show a lot of white)- and a lot more likely (especially beside a road, which is were Buzzards often hunt).
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 22:17   #4
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Yes - thanks - I though that might be the case regarding Honey from what I'd read . I'm fairly convinced that it wasn't a common buzzard though, it looked very different indeed. Oh well, I'll probably never know for sure.
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 22:48   #5
Valéry Schollaert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djw0208 View Post
Hi,

No photos and I didn't see it for long - but as I was travelling along the E40 motorway - probably around Bruges area, I saw a Raptor sitting on a post on the edge of the road. It was definitely Buzzard size but the front and even the head looked 'white' to me and the front also looked quite 'shaggy'. It had darker brown wings.

Looking at internet photos later, I think it could have been a honey buzzard - but how likely is that? It looks like they winter further south, so don't know how likely it is that they would be further north?

I know it is difficult without pictures but is that most likely? I don't know what else it could have been?

Many Thanks
In winter, there's a bunch of Common Buzzard comming from Northern and Eastern Europe, and they are in average much paler, especially juveniles. We have seen many British biders identifying them on BF with a comment such "a very pale CB" while they look normal for us. Coming fom UK, I'm therefore not surprised you find them different from the ones you use to see.

HB has never been seen in winter. You might see them in June along the highway, but rather along E411 south of Namur than around Bruges. :)

I'd call it a CB.
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Old Thursday 31st January 2019, 12:52   #6
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Ok, thanks for everyone's help much appreciated. I'm learning a lot, that's the main thing!
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