ANOTHER TRY FOR THE SHORT EARED OWLS AND OUR USUAL TRIP FOR THE LITTLE OWLS.
I decided to sneak in another quick visit to Cossington Meadows for the Short Eared Owls on Friday the 12th of February having been told they had been seen again whilst on our visit to Longmoor Lake the previous day. I arrived at approximately 15.10 hrs and after walking down the site, met up with some of the gents we had seen the previous afternoon at Longmoor and was told that two birds had been about for about an hour. Again the birds seemed unwilling to come close but the light must have been perfect as the images are about the best I have managed to get so far, hopefully other people agree, or is it me looking through rose coloured spectacles???.
The two birds flew about up until about 16.30 hrs and after this I had a slow walk back up the site with one of the other birders, checking every field as we walked as these birds have been seen in the fields all around, even next to the road, but not on this evening.
My second visit was on Monday the 15th of February again to Cossington Meadows. I arrived at about 15.30 hrs and met up with a couple of gents I have seen many times and was told that so far no birds had been seen. As normal we stuck to the task in hand but by 16.00 hrs still no birds had arrived, but looking up the fence line another birder had arrived and stood with his camera and 500 mm lens on a tripod, sat on the top of the lens was my pal the Robin, so I gave my usual call to the bird and the results are above and below.
The next trip out was with Richard on Thursday the 18th of February, we decided to have a quick trip around our Little Owl sites after last week having seen six birds, and the weather today being perfect. Then to have another visit to Longmoor Lake for the elusive Hen Harrier, but I have kept some of these images in reserve as the weather forecast for the next week is not good.
We left as usual at 11.30 hrs and headed for our normal route, to be truthful with high hopes as the weather was very good, sunny and only a light breeze, and as we had seen six Little Owls last week we were hopeful for more. Our first site to visit was Site No. 1 and no bird was about, and so onto Site No. 2 with better results, an adult sat in the entrance to the nest hole. We then carried on through our sites seeing another bird at Site No. 6, sat in its usual spot on the R.S.J. watching the world go by. We carried on through to Site No. 9 and had lunch. No Little Owls were seen here but circling a good distance away were five Buzzards, two Ravens and I think one Red Kite. These birds were circling at times really close to each other and were in the area all through the time we had our lunch. After this we carried on through our last sites and no more birds were seen so we headed for home to collect Richards car, and then on to Longmoor for another attempt at the Hen Harrier.
12th February 2016.
Short Eared Owl.
This was the first bird I saw, this being the paler bird of the three, I think I only saw two on this visit. Just after this it dived onto the ground but appeared to catch nothing.
Again the paler bird, this time flying a bit higher.
The pale bird hunting.
Just after this image the bird turned sharply and dived onto the ground and this time caught something.
Head on image, eyes in focus and the wing tips just blurred.
This is the darker bird, the third bird is slightly cross eyed in its left eye.
Pale bird up again and hunting just above the long grass.
Coming in to land on a fence post.
Just as the bird has landed.
Second bird lands on the next post.
They both then fly and have a bit of interaction before going back to hunting. The darker bird is on the left. 160 metre shot to the fence.
Darker bird on a post about 90 metres away.
15th February 2016.
And this is my Robin tucking into its biscuit with gusto, we had three or four visits before it stomach was full. What a wonderful interaction with this bird.
18th February 2016.
Little Owl Site No. 2.
This week the bird sat in the nest hole, we have only seen the one bird so far at this site.
Little Owl Site No. 6.
Again the bird in its favourite position, same as last week. We have seen two birds at this site.
18th February 2016.
Wigeon Drake, Hide at Longmoor Lake.
In reasonable numbers on the relatively small lake.
Hen Harrier, Bird hide, Longmoor Lake .
Still not a good image but better than the previous, with the bird being so low, the camera keeps focusing on the grass and young trees it passes at speed.
Thank you for your visit, please feel free to leave a comment, I will reply to all.
I hope you have enjoyed the visit as much as I have in getting the images.