Common Buzzard Buteo buteo

Michael's Piece, Ford - June 2007

Photo copyright Richard Stevens

This photo of another (or the same) very pale Common Buzzard (see below) was taken approximately ten miles away from the Aston Hill bird below.  Richard visits the area daily and has often seen Buzzards here.

Aston Hill - April 2007

Photo copyright Helen Olive

This excellent flight photo of a Common Buzzard was taken from Helen's garden at Aston Hill.  This individual is exceptionally pale and is often seen over Aston Rowant and Stokenchurch.  It's pale appearance has given rise to incorrect ID.


Ibstone, Nr Stokenchurch - July 2004

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Photos copyright Adrian Parker

These excellent photographs were taken just a few miles from those below, in the Buzzard hotspot in Buckinghamshire.   The top photo even shows the Buzzard being "buzzed" by what appears to be a Martin.

Radnage, Nr Stokenchurch - 2003

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Photos copyright Gerry Whitlow

These superb photographs were taken from fields close to Gerry's house in the Chiltern's near Stokenchurch.

The Common Buzzard is now a common breeding bird in the west of the county and other areas in the Chilterns.  It is still increasing in other parts of the county.  However even in the fairly recent past it was not like this.  During the 1980s Common Buzzards were scarce in the county and field notes were required by the county recorder!   During those years each sighting was listed in the annual report.  During the 1990s and into the 2000s the species has gone from strength to strength and is now seen on a daily basis across much of the county.  However in other parts of the county, particularly in the north, the species is still an uncommon sight.   The area around Stokenchurch was always an outpost for the species, presumably the species being attracted by the extensive and often inaccessible wooded hills.

Michael's Piece, Nr Bishopstone/Ford - September 2003

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Photos courtesy of Neill Foster

A presumed Common Buzzard showing a large amount of white on the rump had been reported by John Gearing on 25th September.  Neill Foster visited the site with the intention of photographing the bird but actually found two Common Buzzards with unusual plumage and managed to get photographs of both.  Due to the birds being very distant the photographs are somewhat indistinct but nether the less show the important points.

The top picture clearly shows a large area of white on the undertail coverts and this extends onto the rump.  This and the area of white on the lower breast, matches that of the description given by John Gearing.  The lower bird seems to have far more white on the face but also has extensive white on the undertail coverts and lower breast.

Birds such as these may well account for the occasional out of season Rough-legged Buzzard record, of which there have been one or two recently.