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Just got back from a friends house.  While we were there, a very large bird of prey visited their garden and we managed to get a fairly good view of it, but none of us know what it is.  Unfortunately I didn't have my camera.

I was a fairly large bird of prey with a white chest and speckled "collar" coming down over it's breast bone.  It had a reasonably large wingspan of possibly 3ft or more when in flight.    I've had a looked in my Bird Book and the closest I can find is a Bonelli's Eagle, but according to the habitat and migration map, they don't appear in France.

I know it's a very vague description, but are there any bird fans out there who might be able to tell me what it is.


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The description is too vague for me to give even a half definitive view, but given the time of year, location and descrition, my best guess would be a buzzard with a light breast - buzzards of all birds seem to defy a unique colour description and come in many many shades with and without apparently distinctive markings.
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Something like this Jan?


P.s  Bonelli's Eagle DOES occur in France, but only around the Mediterranean. It lives on the causses, in woodlands and the garrigue, typically close to cliffs where it breeds.   It's rare and declining - fewer than 30 pairs in France and fewer than 800 pairs  in the whole of Europe - and is threatened by disturbance (not least, by climbers), collisions with power lines (a consequence of its hunting technique), and the loss of habitat of a couple of its key prey species, namely rabbits and partridges.



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