Sunday, 27 November 2011

Influx of Short-eared owls

 This autumn has proven to be a great time for Short-eared owls in the county. Most years we get one or more owls & Aust, between the two Severn bridges, is a regular overwintering area. This year however has seen alot of the local moors harbouring one or more birds, with counts of up to seven seen on Aller moor! With this in mind i popped over to Aller, seeing only one (disturbed by dog walkers) the first day, but had greater success on my second visit, with three hunting in the area. The images of the perched owl below are from that session. The light was dismal so perched images were the order of the day.
The following pair of images of the owl & Kestrel were taken a few years ago at Aust & "lost" on my hard drive. I found them when loading the new images!
 Short-eared owls are commonly seen during daylight (diurnal) & feed on the same sort of creatures as Kestrels. This leads to competition for resources & inevitably fights. Corvids also give the owls are hard time, & can often be used to find owls that are perched or roosting in reeds or long grass.

This final shot was taken by my good buddy Tim Taylor, whilst on Aller moor. I was busy watching a perched owl through my lens. My phone started to vibrate with an incoming call. I ignored it as i was still locked onto the perched bird. Tim was ringing to tell me to turn around! DOH!
The final straw was when i saw the file name........Rob missing the owl

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