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nutcutlet

I see this one from time to time flying low over the fen.

A raptor, biggish. Dark brown back, lighter under the wings, It lacks the white band at the base of the tail like the hen harrier. When I first saw it I thought it was a harrier of some sort but I'm not so sure now. It's not a kite or a buzzard. I recognise those 2 

Any ideas?

 

fidgetbones

I dont know what you've got, Nut.

 The first time I saw frigate birds circling,(not in this country) I thought they looked like pterodactyls.

nutcutlet

I always think herons have a touch of the prehistoric about them in flight

fidgetbones

I know what you mean. We get them every spring at frog gangbang time. Because of large trees they don't have a direct flight path, so have a very ungainly circling landing.

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Dovefromabove

Oh yes, love herons - we get them over here a lot because of the marshes over the hill - sometimes I hear them calling as they pass over and I rush outside to watch.  One of my absolute favourite birds - in fact, definitely my most favourite bird 

If you watch the video I posted the link to - you'll see a real difference in the 'jizz' of the honey buzzard to the common ones (have seen plenty of common buzzards your way Nut ). 

I'm fairly certain I saw a honey buzzard last year near Pensthorpe - the set of the 'head and shoulders' is quite different to a common buzzard. 

KEF

Don't think I've ever seen a buzzard in flight. We do frequently see a heron as lady a few doors away has a large pnd and we have fishing ponds near us. They make me laugh especially before they "tuck their legs up". Obviously Ornithology not my subject.

Dovefromabove

KEF, are you far from Sheffield?  We saw buzzards not far from there a few years ago - think there are quite a few in the Peak District. 

KEF

Dove, about nine miles as the crow flies

KEF

Thanks Dove, I'll save that link for later, or at least until I've had more tea. Sent PM.

Well, it won't be a Honey Buzzard, because they've all gone to Africa. A useful way of shortening the list of suspects! Did you get an idea of the actual size?

nutcutlet

Hi Joe

Hard to be completely sure but I'd say a little smaller than a buzzard. A very dark brown back/top view but with an overall blotchy effect on the underside of the wings, not in patches like the kite. Bulky looking when seen on the ground. Often flies very low to the ground. I've been seeing it or one of them, never more than one at a time, for years.

Dovefromabove

When are you seeing it Nut, I'd presumed you were talking about back in the summer?

If it's throughout the year , and thinking about where you live then I'd think a Marsh Harrier is the most likely - they often fly low to the ground - have a look here https://www.google.com/search?q=marsh+harrier+underwing&rlz=1C1SVEE_enGB425GB425&espv=210&es_sm=122&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=QASTUrqxHcmV7AbU84C4Bw&ved=0CD0QsAQ&biw=910&bih=444 

We see them over the grazing marshes between Acle and Gt Yarmouth, and the reedbeds near the Suffolk coast. 

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nutcutlet

Thanks Dove

I think it's probably a female marsh harrier, 

I've been aware of it for years but thought it was a hen harrier, then thought it wasn't. 

 

That they hold their fairly narrow wings in a shallow V shape, and the particular way they sometimes tip from side to side as they hunt fairly low, always says Harrier to me. The narrower wings can make them seem smaller than a Buzzard, but the size is similar. After that it partly comes down to when you see it. It sounds like a Marsh.

nutcutlet

Thanks Joe, I think so too. my neighbour says there are Marsh and Hen harriers about here but I've only seen the one 

Dovefromabove

Saw a huge buzzard over farmland at Brampton near Beccles in North Suffolk this afternoon - it was magnificent.