richard.symonds's picture

Strange raptor seen at Parham Park

Observed: 20th November 2010 By: richard.symonds

See new thread. Saw this raptor in parham park whilst out walking, pewrched in a mature oak tree. Sat there for about 30 mins before flying off. What is it? Looks like a "funny" buzzard to me, or is it an escapee from a bird-of-prey aviary. Any ideas?? More shots posted up on Flikr Birdtrack.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


jhn7's picture


Could it be an Osprey?

Certificate in Contemporary Science (Open)

tarkamerl's picture

Re: Osprey?

Doesn't look like an Osprey to me, but not sure what it is.

Montgomeryshire mammal recorder and naturalist

RoyW's picture

Not R-l Buzzard, Honey-buzzard, or Osprey.

This is none of the three above species, and although it may be a Common Buzzard, I'm not convinced about that either.

I have a feeling that it is an escaped falconers bird, and if the two "wires" visible below the tail on the following photo, and at least one other are radio arials from a tracking device, this would be proven to be the case(use the 'newer' & 'older' buttons on the flickr page to view other photos):

Note - I'm not convinced that they are arials, but they don't appear to be part of the tree, and don't show in all the photos.

I'll have a look through some books when I get a chance.

kcf32's picture

Augur Buzzard

This bird looks very similar to buzzards I saw in Kenya that were identified as Augur Buzzards. My Helm guide describes the plumage as black above, white below, with chin and throat black in female and white in male. There are further details which are not apparent in this photograph plus some colour variants. This is a bird of the highlands so unlikely to be found in the South of England unless it has escaped from a collection.


Sam Griffin's picture

Angur Buzzard

The "wires" appear to me to be the leather jesses used on captive birds. I'm convinced that this is an escapee. It is not a commonly kept species, so whoever has lost it will no doubt be missing it..! Are there any bird of prey centres etc. in the area? I'm sure they would appreciate a call.

RoyW's picture

Could easily be jesses.

When I looked at the photos on flickr I didn't think that they looked quite right for jesses for some reason (a bit straight and stiff looking perhaps?) but they could well be.

The alternative is radio transmitter arials like these:
These are attached to the birds back, tail, breast or legs (move your cursor over the lower three images to see examples of transmitters attached to legs).

If the owner had any sense there will be at least one (and often more than one) transmitter somewhere on the bird to assist with finding it at times like this .

Ray Turner's picture

Auger Buzzard

I agree with Auger Buzzard, it looks very like the birds I have seen in Kenya too. As soon as I saw this picture I knew I had seen this species in the wild. It's a lovely bird, particularly when looking straight at you.

David- the flikr link is provided by Roy above; there are no flight shots but it is possible to make out the rufous tail in a couple of them, this is the clincher for me.

By the way if you put up a new ID with the names the right way round for iSpot (that is English name followed by scientific name in brackets) I'll happily agree with you.



bobthebirder's picture

augur buzzard

See the photo by Larry Linton at which shows an augur with similar facial markings.

Bob Ford

RoyW's picture

Augur or Jackal Buzzard?

Note the different scientific name on the link given by Bob.

Buteo augur and B. rufofuscus used to be considered one species, but are now treated as two seperate species (their ranges overlap in Namibia). So which one is it - I doubt that it is possible to say from these photos!

anonymous spotter's picture


Although I am far from expert in bird recognition the blue colour of the back , the white chest , and facial markings suggest a Peregrine rather than a Buzzard. However I have never seen one with white all the way down the belly.

RoyW's picture

This is an African species.

This is not a Common Buzzard (the species that is usually found in the UK), it is a related African species - an escaped falconers bird.
There are two very similar species that it could be, which both typically have similar white underparts to this individual (Common Buzzards can have white underparts but this is rare).

Alison Davies's picture

There was a picture on BBC

There was a picture on BBC News today of an osprey which had nested and bred in Northumberland. The face looks very similar to the bird discussed here. However, end of November is a bit odd for an osprey in Britain, so will believe those who know about African birds, and think this is an escaped bird.