Turned up on Prestwick Carr in splendid sunshine at 3.00pm yesterday. Unpacked the gear and walked up the bumpy road to join a birder I recognise from many twitches at St Marys Island who was scanning for the owls. As we talked we spotted a bird hunting in the middle of the fields just south of the road, then another then another till three were circling each other and another was perched on a bush nearby. Then as I scanned right another bird was found perched on the fence line quite near us. Bill had reported five yesterday so we watched for ten minutes or so from a distance whilst the ariel dance continued. Then the crows turned up and three blokes, one quite portly in a bright red shirt, walked across the fields and started to herd the cows. Two owls did their usual corvid avoidance strategy and circled up higher and higher whilst the others came down onto the ground one perching on the fence 50 yards away. My fellow birder had run out of time so departed and I realised I had barely taken a photograph of the spectacle. Never mind the two lads usually in the hide at Big Waters were up the road and must have filled their boots. I waited for the perched bird to fly but it stayed perched for almost three quarters of an hour whilst I chatted to others present who had identified a total of six birds at one stage. I presume the new arrivals are continental birds and, given the sighting of five at Seaton, the influx seems to be quite large. The thought of approaching the 2000 record of eleven - fourteen birds would be nice but it beats me how you can count that many with certainty. Five - six is hard enough!!
The bird eventually started hunting again as the freezing mist rose up and as the cold began to grip I decided to depart without waiting for the Barn Owls to show. Couldn't see very far anyway!