Rough-legged Buzzard- juvenile at Grindale

Majestic Beastie

Already much photographed mostly in flight, our local wintering Rough-legged Buzzard ramped up the game today. I arrived to find a handful of birders watching our Arctic visitor at ridiculously close range. Feeding on a road-kill hare. It took no notice of us 🙂

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How Close?

I had hoped to get pictures of the ‘trousers’/thigh feathering/ tibia feathering. Why? I have noticed when exploring the subject at the Natural History Museum, Tring that there was a potential difference from pale juveniles of the North American form and the European form. Many N. American birds have plain unmarked rich apricot trousers. European birds are inevitable dark (spade-shaped) spotting here- just like on the Grindale juvenile.

I did see a pale juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard on Foula (Shetland) in mid October 2007 in NW near gales. Bet it was North American- just never saw it close enough. Next time!

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