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Osprey - Hampshire UK (1 Viewer)

StephenHampshire

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I wanted to ask about what I considered to be unusual behaviour for an Osprey. Bearing in mind I do not see these birds very often in my normal patch, what I saw may be routine of course! I live in Hampshore about 25 miles from the coast, I have seen Ospreys overflying local waterways and lakes a few times over the years, but today my wife and I had a good 15 minutes watching one pacing up and down a field a few miles away from the nearest large body of water. The bird was quite happy in the field, ignoring the bullocks also in there. He did not appear to be feeding, just hopping up and down. We moved position to get a better view, which alerted the bird to our presence, he stayed a minute or so more then flew into a nearby tree. We carried on up the path and, waited, and afer five minutes the flew back down into the field. This also seems a bit late in the year for the passage birds we get down here, previously I 've seen them in September, maybe erly October. Could anyone throw a bit more light on why the bird might have been where it was?
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Its unusual for an Osprey to behave in the manner you've described, and most will have flown South though one or two can linger along the South Coast. With respect,are you confident of your identification? Some very pale, almost monochrome Common Buzzards can look very Osprey like. Do Ospreys include earthworms and invertebrates or amphibians in their diet? I've always thought almost entirely fish.
 

StephenHampshire

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Its unusual for an Osprey to behave in the manner you've described, and most will have flown South though one or two can linger along the South Coast. With respect,are you confident of your identification? Some very pale, almost monochrome Common Buzzards can look very Osprey like. Do Ospreys include earthworms and invertebrates or amphibians in their diet? I've always thought almost entirely fish.

My first thought was a pale buzzard, but we were close enought to get a very clear view, shape of head, bill, white head with eyestripe, wing colouration, all right for osprey, when it flew into the tree, very white underneath. It also wass very ungainly, I am used to seeing kites and buzzards feeding on the ground round here and it didn't move with such ease. I actually wondered if it was unwell. As I said we had a good 10-15 minutes watching the bird, the path at that point was trhough the farmyard and the bird was in the adjacent field with bullocks and heifers. Dull light but bright enough. Luckily I'd taken my 10x bins with me today.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
My first thought was a pale buzzard, but we were close enought to get a very clear view, shape of head, bill, white head with eyestripe, wing colouration, all right for osprey, when it flew into the tree, very white underneath.

It doesn’t really sound like the behaviour of an Osprey to me (ie foraging in a field), they are almost exclusively piscivores.

There are still some juvenile Honey Buzzards being reported around the UK which will be moving south. I wonder whether this is what you saw - Did it look like the bird in the link below?

http://resizeme.club/imageresizer-312_1973127.html

https://www.birdguides.com/sightings/pernis-apivorus/
 

StephenHampshire

Well-known member
United Kingdom
It doesn’t really sound like the behaviour of an Osprey to me (ie foraging in a field), they are almost exclusively piscivores.

There are still some juvenile Honey Buzzards being reported around the UK which will be moving south. I wonder whether this is what you saw - Did it look like the bird in the link below?

http://resizeme.club/imageresizer-312_1973127.html

https://www.birdguides.com/sightings/pernis-apivorus/

I agree about the bahaviour, that was why I posted, not relly looking like a Honey Buzzard, although a google search of honey buzzard did throw up a few pictures with a very pale head and a sort of eye strip. Both my wife and I had a good view of this bird and she in particular stressed the eye stripe. The head was very white with a distinct transition to the dark brown plumaage on the body. I had regularly see Marsh Harriers over the local pond/small lake so I am pretty sure it wasn't that. I've compared it to photos of an Osprey I took back in September at Titchfield Haven and I am pretty sure this is what we saw. Very odd
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
A mobile phone pic might have been useful as some sort of confirmation, even if rubbish. In the event that it was an Osprey, it could be that it is in trouble - have you alerted the local bird group or anyone who could check it out?
 

StephenHampshire

Well-known member
United Kingdom
A mobile phone pic might have been useful as some sort of confirmation, even if rubbish. In the event that it was an Osprey, it could be that it is in trouble - have you alerted the local bird group or anyone who could check it out?

I didn't have my camera with me, also forgot my water bottle! I will mail the HOS.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
..., not relly looking like a Honey Buzzard, although a google search of honey buzzard did throw up a few pictures with a very pale head and a sort of eye strip. Both my wife and I had a good view of this bird and she in particular stressed the eye stripe. The head was very white with a distinct transition to the dark brown plumaage on the body...

I’m assuming since you had to google ‘honey buzzard’, perhaps you are not familiar with this species or pale plumaged juveniles?. The pale form of Honey Buzzard juveniles can look exactly as you describe and can quite easily be mistaken for an Osprey given the small head, dark eyestripe, very white head and dark brown plumage.

I don’t think my earlier link worked - try this - note the pale juveniles with white head and very dark mask

http://www.animalia-life.club/other/honey-buzzard-juvenile.html

I agree Osprey is also possible but if it was well enough to fly (which you say it was), I wouldn’t expect to see one walking around a cattle field, whereas HB will frequently feed on worms and amphibians.

more here - amount of eye masking is variable
http://blascozumeta.com/wp-content/...-passeriformes/102.honeybuzzard-papivorus.pdf
 
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StephenHampshire

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I’m assuming since you had to google ‘honey buzzard’, perhaps you are not familiar with this species or pale plumaged juveniles?. The pale form of Honey Buzzard juveniles can look exactly as you describe and can quite easily be mistaken for an Osprey given the small head, dark eyestripe, very white head and dark brown plumage.

I don’t think my earlier link worked - try this - note the pale juveniles with white head and very dark mask

http://www.animalia-life.club/other/honey-buzzard-juvenile.html

I agree Osprey is also possible but if it was well enough to fly (which you say it was), I wouldn’t expect to see one walking around a cattle field, whereas HB will frequently feed on worms and amphibians.

more here - amount of eye masking is variable
http://blascozumeta.com/wp-content/...-passeriformes/102.honeybuzzard-papivorus.pdf

I did Google Honey Buzzard and got a few pics that looke a lot like some from the link there, one is very similar to the bird we saw, that would make more sense as it was behaving like a common buzzard. I'm happy to go with that! Thanks for the help.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
I did Google Honey Buzzard and got a few pics that looke a lot like some from the link there, one is very similar to the bird we saw, that would make more sense as it was behaving like a common buzzard. I'm happy to go with that! Thanks for the help.

If it was a HB Stephen, it would be a good record, especially so late, so it’s worth writing up a note for the HOS recent sightings board, reporting it as a ‘possible’ juvenile pale HB, even if you are not sure, just so others can check the area.
 

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