Duck sounding call... bird of prey neath

 I was in neath area woodland the other day and heard this noise like a duck or goose. Sometimes it sounded like a yappy dog mixed with a goose. Then I saw a bird of prey land on the top of a tall thin tree and do the exact call I'd been hearing earlier on the walk. It flew off to look over the river then landed back on the same tree and did the same call again. It didn't look right for a buzzard and the call wasn't right for what I've seen on YouTube etc. It was dark almost black, probably the size of a buzzard and the hooked bill was almost black. It looked like an eagle and a buzzard in ways, but can't have been an eagle if they are not in Wales, but the call wasn't right for a buzzard from what I've seen online so far and it was way darker than any buzzard I've ever seen. Any ideas? Do buzzards ever look almost black and sound like a duck? It is annoying me !! Annoyingly I thought when I got home it would be an easy id so I wouldn't need to record a duck sound coming from a bird of prey as it shouldn't be hard to find info..I was wrong.
Thanks for any help!

  • Very difficult to identify without a recording. Buzzards do vary in colour from dark brown to a pale beige colour. If it was a silhouette a dark brown bird may have looked black.

    As to the call, I found an alarm call on xeno-canto which is different from the usual flight call that we are familiar with. It does sound a bit like a duck call.

    Lars Edenius, XC426204. Accessible at

    Best I can do I'm afraid.



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  • Just a thought: one bird that could potentially be mistaken for a dark buzzard is a Raven. They are big enough and they do honk. I think their call is very distinctive, sounding somewhere between a goose and a crow.


    Nige   Flickr

  • Definitely didn't sound anything like the buzzard recording there either. Thanks though.
    Yeah I suppose it could have been a particularly large raven, they have tricked me flying overhead before. Just that call was particularly weird.
    Do they ever have really standout hooked bills?
    The raven call still didn't sound quite right on YouTube but I guess they can vary.
    I'm going to have to go back to that woodland as it's going to annoy me.
  • Have a listen to a Red Kite,though not normally a very vocal bird they can be quite noisy if there is any disturbance near their nesting territory


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • It definitely wasn't a red kite.. We get them fly over the garden in the neath valleys. Beautiful birds. One actually took pizza off the shed roof that was left for the magpies and seagulls..that was a bit of a shock.
    Thanks :)
  • I wouldn't bet against buzzard based on what's been written. I can't offer anything for the duck call though.
  • We were listening to Buzzards calling in the Dales today 5 different birds and 5 different calls but nothing sounding like a duck. Could it be an escapee from a B o P centre or a falconers bird such a Harris Hawk ?


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • I think I'm going to have to go back there very's going to annoy me. It's probably really obvious once I see it again.
    I'll update if I manage to see it again.
  • I’ve seen and heard something that fits the same description here in West Devon over the past couple of days. We have a lot of buzzards in the area so I’m very familiar with their calls, and this was certainly different. My wife says duck-like, I thought more like the honk of a goose. The bird was dark and had a huge wingspan. I’ll keep my eyes peeled and try to spot it again.
  • I have heard a similar call and posted a recording of it a few days ago - have had no responses.....

    I can't work out how to add the recording to this reply, but you can hear it if you go to HAH - Which bird sounds like this? Posted 5 days ago