Amberley Wildbrooks and Cootham

An early start at Amberley was quiet with just a Peregrine of note perched up on one of the trees by the peat bog. It was my first sighting of a Peregrine here for a while. Other sightings were a few Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Yellow Wagtails. 

A relaxing evening in my parents garden in Cootham proved much more exciting. I was watching a flock of Swallows when I made out a very high raptor going south. I got the P1000 onto it and managed a couple of poor photographs. I noticed a fairly long tail, which suggested to me it wasn't a Common Buzzard. I also noted a small head, which made me think Honey Buzzard. However, for some reason, I thought it might be Osprey, and messaged Matt with that suggestion. He soon discounted that, and suggested it was likely a Common Buzzard, but remarked that juveline Honey Buzzard was another possibility, although these are notoriously difficult to separate from Common Buzzard. Later that evening Matt messaged me to say he'd sent my pictures to the outgoing county recorder and Honey Buzzard expert, Mark Mallalieu, who said he was confident it was a juvenile Honey Buzzard, based on the long tail and small head. It still needs to be accepted by the committee, but Mark remarked that, if accepted, it will be an exceptional record, as there has been only one other inland record of juvenile Honey Buzzard away from its nest wood. It would also be a long-awaited lifer for me. 

Juv Honey Buzzard?

Juv Honey Buzzard

Juv Honey Buzzard?


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