Sunday, 8 March 2015

Elusive Owls

Elusive Owls seems a bit of stretch of the truth actually, its just me they seem to be eluding. Pete has seen a Barn Owl on the Moors every time he has been to look for it. I have not had a chance to pay it a visit yet. On the other side of Town, on another site I frequently watch, another friend is seeing a Barn Owl every evening hunting the meadows. I have tried twice to see this Owl, still no luck. The closest I got was Thursday evening when Pete and I went to look for it. Two of our friends were already there when we arrived. As is usual the words, “If you had been here 5 minutes earlier,” were uttered by our friends as they described how it had flown in, perched on a fence post opposite them, and only left the area as we appered.

To be honest, we would probably have been 5 minutes earlier than we were if Pete hadn’t talked me into walking a route that he assured me was less muddy! As it was dark, neither of us had remembered a torch, and he sounded convincing, I went along with Pete’s suggestion. I should have asked the question, “Less muddy than what?” It was certainly less muddy than the Infamous Morecambe Bay Mud Flats, but there wasn’t much in it! Obviously It made for an interesting walk in the dark and an even more colourful conversation than usual as we slipped, slogged and squelched through what shall from this day be known as Pete’s quagmire route.

I am hoping to catch up with one of these Barn Owls soon. Hopefully, this weekend .

Having heard loads of Tawny’s calling over the past few weeks, I managed good views of one this week. Sitting in its daytime perch in an old Owl box taking in the morning sunshine. It saw me and dropped deeper into the box and out of sight. I did however see it again later in the day sunning itself again. It was in dense branches and vegetation, and i just couldn’t get into a position to clearly digiscope it. I also saw my first Ringed Plover of the year, well 4 of them actually.


Distant Ringed Plover and the well hidden Tawny

I didn’t meet up with Pete for our usual Saturday morning mooch about and I didn’t think I would get out at all on Saturday. I did however manage a quick wander over the Moors in the late afternoon. The sun was shining and I could really feel its warmth on my back. This made me think that maybe some of our native reptiles may also be basking in its warmth. I went to an area Pete and I have found Grass snakes before and it also looks ideal for Adders. I had a good look about but no joy today. It may have been that the first bout of warm afternoon sunshine on a Saturday had brought out every fair weather walker with their dogs in the district and the disturbance had sent anything I may be hoping to see heading for cover. There were so many walkers this afternoon, I didn’t even hang about to try for the aforementioned Barn Owl.

2012 was the year we had a nice little drop in of Wheaters on the Moors and they spent 3 or 4 days feeding on the ploughed fields. The farmers decided not to plough the fields in early 2013-14, and no Wheatear were record. I was thinking about this as I walked around and noticed a few ploughed fields. Late March early April is when we first recorded them, so I hope we may get a few Wheatear sightings on the patch this year.

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Some of the Plough and Snake country.

Sunday - A general walkabout this morning, just me and Taz. Nothing of real note about. A Single Male Goosander on the Anker and a mixed flock of about 90 winter thrushes, mainly Redwing. There were a few busy Nuthatches along the riverside trees, and Woodpigeons billing and cooing all over the place. Spring is here. Towards the subsidence pools at Alvecote, 14 Shelduck and 23 Snipe were the highlights. I may try for that Moors Barn Owl later.

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I managed to to pop out late afternoon and headed to the Moors looking for the Barn Owl. The light was dropping as I arrived ai its hunting grounds. I didn’t have to wait too long.

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Barn Owl Hunting.


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