Monday, 28 March 2016

Wellbottom & Sparsholt Downs: 28 March pm

We went for a walk this afternoon around Wellbottom Down, which is just over the border in Berkshire. The most interesting bird was a bubbling Curlew. There were also about 50 Fieldfares still around and various Linnet flocks. Skylarks were singing away.

Threatening skies over Wellbottom Down (click for larger image) 

On the way back, as posted on the Oxon Birding Blog, back in Oxon, there was a pale Buzzard sp over Sparsholt Down at about 17:00, viewed from the minor road that runs south from Kingston Lisle towards Lambourn. It was initially over the wood at about SU330843, before drifting off to the north.

It appeared very pale underneath and most interestingly the upper tail showed a large white rump with dark terminal band. Unfortunately, it was too far away for my available reserve bins to see any dark belly patch and I didn't have my camera with me. I can't claim Rough-legged given these views but it was a possibility I couldn't rule out.


  1. I don't know if it could be related, but I saw a Buzzard this morning around 11 on the line Reading-Basingstoke a few miles north of Bramley. Hovering, completely white tail with dark band well visible. Given the combination of color and behaviour, I had no doubt in identifying it as my first Rough-legged Buzzard. It was quite unexpected, and given that it should be less than 20 miles from where you were, I wonder if it could be the same individual.

  2. Luca Thanks for sharing your sighting. It does seem a remarkable coincidence given the dates and locations but it is impossible to know if they relate to the same bird. I'm by no means sure mine was an RLB - pale Buzzard is the more likely.