Monday 2 November 2009

From the archives - Short Eared Owls

It is just coming up to that time of year, next couple of months or so, that we can look forward to seeing Short Eared Owls again.

I have been lucky for the last two years to have a great hunting field within about 30 minutes drive from my home and so look forward to finding out where they will be this year.

It will depend on how the farmers have left their field through the winter, and whether the fields will support a sufficient vole population to feed them.

They are fantastic birds to watch as they quarter the fields, flapping their long wings, before suddenly folding the and stopping into the ling grass.

About the size of a Buzzard, they are often 'bombed' by a Buzzard or Raven, but as long as they get height then they are safe.

I had a fascinating time last year watch a much heavier Buzzard try to out climb the lighter Owl. They became small specks in my binoculars after a few minutes, before the Buzzard decided to give up the unequal struggle.

Anyway, here are a couple from two years ago, with thanks to my friend Robbie Brookes, currently living in the Shetland Isles who took me to this site for the first time.


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