On my way home from work this evening, I saw a glimpse of what looked like a large bird of prey (maybe around 2 foot?) which had a very white belly and dark wings. 

It was sitting in a tree, in fields not far from a river. I don't think it was a heron (though that sounds more likely?). Is there any chance it was an early osprey?

It was in the Bristol / Bath area if that helps. I will keep an eye out when I travel that way tomorrow... 

  • Almost certainly a buzzard. They are variable in colouring and your description fits.
  • There is another thread that has been recently posted, which by coincidence has a buzzard similar to yours.
  • I would say it is much more likely to be a Buzzard with very pale markings. They can have almost white breasts and although much rarer than standard colouration they are still surprisingly common.

    Edit Post crossed with Robbo's


    Nige   Flickr

  • Thanks for the replies, I didn't know that buzzards could look like that (and I've just seen the other thread now!). It is the most likely explanation as we have a lot of buzzards in the area. I'll keep an eye out on future journeys - it's amazing the wildlife you can see from a train.