Checked a traditional roost in a mature Spruce shelterbelt & after 15mins found 4 owls together, guided by a cluster of pellets.
Its been several years since the 12's, 14's & 16's we used to get here, but 4 was fine. Set the scope up, Three looked down, bits of them disappearing every now & then as the trees swayed in the breze. The fourth staying very mch asleep. A Woodcock went up in the process, but hardly a passerine here.
Unfortunately, couldnt get a decent image, with movement & poor light - heres one i prepared earlier :-
not looking down on me & not in a Spruce
Heres one ive borrowed off the net which illustrates the roost :-
3Lapwing, 56Fieldfare, femStonechat, Sparrowhawk, 1Linnet, 5Goldcrest, 1Wren, 1Song Thrush, 1Blackbird, 1Skylark, 3Chaffinch, nil Snipe, 4 Long-eared Owls roosting in mature Spruce plantation, another territorial pair active at dusk both traditional locations.
Morrow Edge Plantation 4Siskin, 2Reed Bunting, Woodcock, 4Bullfinch, Green Woodpecker, 19Long tailed Tit, 3Goldcrest, 1Wren, 1Song Thrush. 4Roe Deer, 1 dog Fox, 2Hare, Pair of Tawny heard at Morrow Edge after light had gone. Several Skylarks over north after dark.
Woodcock over & almost clipping LV cables, it stalled, dropping its right wing to avoid clipping it.
At the same time, 16:50, male & female Long-eared duetting for 5mins untill a dog Fox came over barking regularly, covering ground quickly & headed into the owls wood.
One of the birds let out a series of whick-whack alarm calls, then all fell quiet, moments later one ghosted out of the trees & set off hunting over rough ground.
The Woodcock came back twice both times travelling slowly in a quiet tight arc, no vocalisations - dont know if all the commotion attracted it back in. Waited another 5mins hoping for roding but not this evening (think my earliest date is 16th).
Plenty of deer around, saw 4, but there were slots everywhere & 2 hare, although a 50 min walk back in the dark through thawed, soaking ground, capped with deep crusty snow & iced tracks was hard work but very worthwhile