Raptor id Essex.UK (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Would appreciate help with this bird photographed today at Abberton Reservoir.


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Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
A good candidate for a Rough-legged Buzzard even though the views of the tail are not great. The underwing looks good.



Well-known member
Hi Curlew2,
Sorry to have a less exciting verdict for you, but, in my opinion, this bird is a Common Buzzard. The mixture of plumage features doesn't fit for Rough-legged: there's a pale 'U' on the breast, for one, which Rough-legged Buzzards, contrary to the stereotyped search image, can show, but as adult males mainly, or, as per Forsman, some older adult females. The subject bird, however, appears to have retained juvenile coverts on the upperwing, with neat pale fringes still not worn away (the greater coverts, especially, stand out in this regard), and a juvenile Rough-legged would just have an isolated well-defined dark belly and pale head, plus a usually very obvious pale patch at the base of the primaries on the upperwing. In addition, the subject bird appears to have a dark patagial stripe (the leading edge of the underwing), this being typical of Common Buzzard.

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