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Bird of Prey, UK (1 Viewer)


A Welsh birder in Dorset!
Just after a few thoughts on this raptor that flew over Weymouth this afternoon. Struck me initially as something odd when I noticed it overhead but fairly high. first impression was a Marsh Harrier as it looked fairly long tailed but this thought was based on a few seconds viewing before running off for the camera. The bird quickly headed off which resulted in some pretty rubbish pictures.

Distant views through the bins was leading me to think a late Honey Buzzard though by this time I was relying on Jizz, the bird had fairly deep wing beats ,a few flaps and a fairly long glide on very flat wings.

Photos came out very dodgy but show up pattern which then led to Common Buzzard especially as one showed up a slight palish patch on the top of the tail. Underwing pattern seemed a little odd on the wing shape in the last picture looks a little fingered (no laughing!).

So though i'd post for another opinion purely as it made me think it was so many raptor species!


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I may be relaxed but I'm not drunk....
I'd go for Marsh Harrier on this (and also believe that first impressions are correct more often than not) - in first pic I think you can make out cream cap (or I've got too close to the screen with a sandwich!).


I may be relaxed but I'm not drunk....
Oops! Looking again in cold light of day, it's a Buzzard.

Jan-Paul Charteris

Sussex birder and budding moth enthusiast
Just a couple of things on the description, although Common Buzzard soars on raised wings, they glide over distance (e.g. across a valley) on angled wings held flat, or primaries depressed slightly, and in active flight, flapping then gliding, their wingbeats can appear fairly deep, but quicker and stiffer than Honey Buzzard (latter's are almost like a kite), and in this flight mode Common Buzzard also holds it's wings flat when gliding

Among other things some barring can be seen on inner primaries on first shot, with a clean pale area on the outer primaries (ruling out Honey Buzzard and the barring ruling out Marsh Harrier)

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