Whiter shade of ‘pale phase’


Common Buzzard, pale phase, Brecks – April 2014

Last week, on our way over to Pat’s birthday party, we stopped off in the Brecks to look for Goshawk. After about half an hour of scanning the skyline and only seeing Common Buzzard, Red Kite and Sparrowhawk, a young Goshawk appeared over the trees in the company of a couple of buzzards. It soon landed in the trees and apart from one further brief encounter, it was lost from view, the Common Buzzards however remained. In amongst the Common Buzzards was a particularly pale ‘pale phase’ bird which, at a glance, showed a number of plumage features similar to Rough-legged Buzzard – pale head, white upper tail coverts, etc. Interestingly there was a report of a ‘possible RLB’ in the same location, on the bird information services, the day before.

Here are a couple more distant shots of this interesting bird:

With a ‘regular’ Common Buzzard, showing a distinctive dark ‘tux’ band on it’s belly


A couple of shots showing the white upper tail, white head and pale fore wing

IMG_1961 IMG_1950

and this shot, showing an almost complete lack of carpal patches


Check out the illustration in the 2nd ed. Collins of the ‘juv. Light bird’ – ‘extremely pale variants (mainly N Germany-S Sweden) are very odd looking..’

Post Script. A minor landmark was reached this week, following the publication of my ‘Pied-billed Beauty’ blog – my 15,000th view! Thank you one and all, keeping viewing. 

This entry was posted in Birding.

One comment on “Whiter shade of ‘pale phase’

  1. […] the striking overall pale plumage could clearly be seen. It put me in mind of the bird I saw last April in the […]

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