Thursday, 10 September 2009


Went down to the Carr yesterday at 3.30 in glorious weather to see if the Short eared Owls had stayed but on walking along the bumpy road past the goats the first thing that grabbed my attention was a group of birds flycatching from the east boundary fence of the paddock. Stonechats immediately sprang to mind but there were ten or so birds. Got the bins on them and counted six young Whinchats, 3 Stonechats and Meadow Pipit. Watched them for an hour or so with bicycle Bill and another birder whilst still keeping a keen eye out for the owls. Lovely sight and of course...
98 Whinchat

The owls looked like they were a no show and the other two departed. I contented myself snapping away at a passing Willow Warbler then saw a Warbler in amongst the Whinchat. Got a quick pic and believe it to be a Grasshopper Warbler but any comments welcome.
Just as I was packing up to leave a ghostly white shape difted down the far hedgerow and out into the middle of the field. The owl was hunting shortly to be joined by another from the central hedgerow. Little buggers had been there all the time but I think the food supply is so good they don't need to hunt that often. Standing waiting I heard numerous squeaks from the grass suggesting many voles and have seen quite a few dashing across the road recently. Moved location and joined by Bill enjoyed the two birds hunting for about an hour, frequently going down on presumed kills. One bird is distinctly smaller and darker plumaged than the other, possibly a juvenile and gave us a good head on view off its yellow eyes as it checked us out. Finally the light went flat and we packed up .

Where are the owl pictures you may say. Took plenty but on review most were distant and poor so I'm hoping for better opportunities in the weeks to come. Best view currently from the gate in the hedgerow on the right hand side of the road leading down from Prestwick to Mayfair Cottage.

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