In Dusk We Trust - Some Owling in Co.Durham, North East England, Great Britain
Leo food-pass image copyright Michael Brady, Newcastle.


Thursday, 1 July 2010

All Nighter 31st June / 1st July - BO-vs-LEO

The bairn was a'bed early on, so out in good time.

Went to have a look at the new Long-eared site in the Wear
i drove up the bank with window wound down
could hear the young bird calling close to the road.

Only parking was a bit gateway a good way up the bank top
as i strolled back down, a large brown shape appeared - a Buzzard carrying prey


the unseen adult Long-eared let out a loud alarm call as it approached & the youngster fell silent,
as the Buzzard landed close by.
i stayed tucked in the dyke back, still a good way off & out of sight - but evern after 20 mins the juv never called again.

this wait did pay dividends though with brief views of a Hobby - ive seen more of this species in Durham in the last 2 years as i have in the last 20.

Further down the valley another spot held a beggging youngster
The estate must have gone into some kind of agri-environ scheme as the grazing densities are absolutely minimal

Looks like these 2 new Leo pairs have been quick to take advantage - there was no sign of them over the last few year.

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Highlights
Park & Ride, D'ham City: - Barn owl hunting adjacent & Badger foraging on paths on edge of car park 22:30

pr of Roe Deer standing in the road at first light & 2 Fox over the roads during the night.

Barn owls with young on the wing at a couple of spots early this morning, seems to be a good year.

This is 4-6 weeks earlier than usual & bodes well


& the Lowlights
checked 12 regular Long-eared owl pair last night in a Derwentside stronghold, (plus drive-by speculative checks) revealing only 2 sets with young !!!

They seem to be having an even worse season than 2009 ( which was the poorest i can recall )



A poor year, but there are some young Long-ears out there . . .
image of a Derwentside youngster by David Kay.

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This seems an odd situation to say the least & is highlighted in the site with "side by side "Barnie & Longie

The Barn owl is an absolute machine, in & out with prey non stop -
the Long-eared with its young 15m away only managing 4 items an hour at best.

Both birds hunting over the same ground / habo

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Young Barn owl "doing" Garden Knome

Watched it 20 mins & it never recieved a food item despite begging - both the adults were taking prey in for its younger siblings still in the nest chamber.


Eventually it saw me & fluttered closer
couple of bits down still on its head
here it contemplates a flight . . .

& off he goes . . .



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