On Friday morning I had a call from the owlmeister, Paul Riddle, wanting to meet up so that he could hand over one of his superb owl calendars that I'd ordered in support of his excellent work. It was agreed that we'd meet in the layby beside Cossington Meadows that afternoon. After the handover, Paul couldn't hang around for long as he was rather busy with work, so I set off on my own to see if I could find the Short-eared Owls that had been reported from this site.
I soon found that I was far from the only person to have this thought and by the time the owls (there were two of them) appeared at 15h08 there must have been over a dozen of us in attendance. Sadly the clouds had rolled in by then and it was quite breezy, and the owls didn't come very close, so I only got record shots. However they do, at least, portray something of the nature of these wonderful birds.
The first image shows the first bird when it first appeared.
|Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) - Cossington Meadows|
The light was gone, it was threatening rain, and I was inadequately dressed for the cold, so I departed at just after 4 p.m.
Inspired by the sight of these birds, yesterday (Saturday 21st) I decided to check out a location much nearer to home which I'd recently passed and which, at first glance, seemed to have fair potential for wintering Short-eared Owl. I didn't have any great expectations, so you can probably imagine my surprise when, within a couple of minutes from getting out of my car, a Short-eared Owl appeared. For some very good reasons, I am not able to divulge the location of this site, but I'm unaware of any previous sightings here.
Fortunately the light, although not good, was a bit better than it had been the previous day at Cossington Meadows, so I did a bit better with the photography.
|Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) - undisclosed site|
I can see from the metadata that this session only lasted less than 15 minutes - a short Short interlude! During this time, the light had been diminishing rapidly, and the owl had now moved further away, and so I decided to head for home. If it's not raining later today, I shall be back there again! Watch this space!
Thank you for dropping by.