West Coast raptor.

  • Dave Shedman
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6 years 8 months ago #45654 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman created the topic: West Coast raptor.
We stopped on our way out of the West Coast National Park to photograph a Black Harrier and before we even got back into the car, this other raptor appeared. Based on GISS and my slightly blurry photos, we came to the conclusion of Forest Buzzard. However, habitat was entirely wrong for Forest Buzzard. It hovered by facing into the wind without flapping, occasionally steering to different locations. In one photo it looks as if it's about to drop onto prey, but it didn't. If it's not a Forest Buzzard, my next guess would be juvenile Steppe Buzzard, though the rufous leggings don't look right to me. OK, here are the photos.









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6 years 8 months ago #45665 by Rusty Justy
Rusty Justy replied the topic: Re: West Coast raptor.
Looks like Steppe Buzzard to me...ity you dont have any detail on the tail...maybe I could turn it into a Long-legged buzzard for you :D haha

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6 years 8 months ago #45669 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman replied the topic: Re: West Coast raptor.

Rusty Justy wrote: ...maybe I could turn it into a Long-legged buzzard for you :D haha


Yes, I really wish that first shot had been in focus (I'd have been happy had any of my shots been in focus!) because it looks like one of those rubber toy 'stretchy' chickens you see in novelty shops! I only found one shot that shows any more detail in the tail but I don't know if it will help any more with the confirmation of Steppe Buzzard. Here it is anyway.

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6 years 7 months ago #45914 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman replied the topic: Re: West Coast raptor.
OK, I wish you hadn't mentioned Long-legged Buzzard because I now want this to be one. We initially ruled it out just on sheer unlikeliness, given its rarity in SA and especially that far south and west. However, having done some research on Long-legged Buzzard, I can see a few reasons why this should be one.

Firstly, the strikingly rufous leggings. Secondly, the broadness of the wings as illustrated in my second photo. Lastly, behaviour. What I read about LLB says it hovers more than Steppe Buzzard. Well, during the time we watched this it did virtually nothing but hover, until it decided to fly away and only then did it start flapping its wings. Also, although my photos are not clear enough to say 100%, I don't see any evidence of a dark bar at the end of the tail, which should be present in even a juvenile Steppe Buzzard from what I've read.

Apart from the aforementioned unlikeliness and rarity, what are the arguments against this being a Long-legged Buzzard?

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2 years 11 months ago #87106 by da_aya
da_aya replied the topic: Re: West Coast raptor.
Really not hopeful on this one as I only got one photo from very long distance and it has its back to the camera. When we looked through the bins we could see that its face looked pale, almost creamy but bear in mind it was not long after sunrise so everything looked more yellowish in that light. Size wise it looked about falcon or kestrel sized, maybe somewhere between Laughing Dove and Red Eyed Dove size. I'm hoping the size, back and tail markings and location (on an island in the Vaal River near Parys) might narrow it down enough. As I said though, not hopeful.

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  • Akherousia
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2 years 9 months ago #87157 by Akherousia
Akherousia replied the topic: Re: West Coast raptor.
you cant twist an out of focus, non detailed photo, into a long legged buzzard.....

I have seen steppe buzzards 'hover' before, and ditto for jackal buzzards.

I would steer towards steppe buzzard, or juvenile jackal buzzard before I thought of 'long legged' buzzard with this bird.

i must say though, it does have very long looking legs in one of the pictures, but i think all birds do when they are in the same position that this bird was when the 'long legged' picture was taken...... I think there was a 'panel' in years gone by who sighted a 'long legged' buzzard near Wakkerstroom..... maybe they can assist in the identification of this, I think 'it has long legs' was one of the criteria they used to confirm ID of their 'long legged' buzzard ? :rolleyes:

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