We went this week to Titchwell … well about a mile away actually, to Choosley Barns. We were looking for the reported Rough legged Buzzard. After a few false alarms a potential candidate was sat atop a tree silhouetted against the skyline facing away from us. It appeared to have a white rump/tail. A good indicator of a Rough legged. We moved the vehicle around a few roads to get a better view with the sun behind us. By the time we got into position the bird had hopped down the tree and shrouded itself among twigs and was completely obscured.
A shrill buzzard like whistle to attract the birds attention and it hopped up again to the top branch. Although distant it’s true identity became apparent. Although the bird was very white it had no dark belly and it had more brown on it than it should have had. In addition the tail was barred although it did have some white in it; insufficient however to give it Rough legged status. The picture below is Bob Cobbold’s digiscoped photograph he took as we watched the bird. Thank you Bob.
I feel we get an influx in winter of whiter continental birds. This is a purely speculative comment but when visiting France in winter they do seem to get a larger proportion of spectacularly white Common Buzzards.
Of course there may have been/still be a Rough legged Buzzard at Choosley. In our short time there this week we didn’t see one, but we did see an unusually pale Common Buzzard that could be a pitfall for the unwary.
Copywrite: Bob Cobbold