In Dusk We Trust - Some Owling in Co.Durham, North East England, Great Britain
Leucistic Little Owl image copyright Hilary Chambers, Durham.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Leo - Witches broom site

Late afternoon
Went to have a look at the Long-eared Owl pair which I'm hoping may nest in a Witches Broom growth.

Directly underneath I found what must have been the previous occupant.
A rather mummified grey squirrel - this wasn't here last time, so it looks likely that the Long-eareds have removed it from the witches broom.....

Once selection has been made, females will roost at, near or even perch up on the nest prior to occupation.

I found her in the immediate area, but extremely well hidden...

a small trail of splash gave a clue as to her whereabouts

Can you see me?

Very difficult to find birds when they roost in Gorse scrub

Close by a pellet under one of the males song perches

This will be an interesting one to follow up on - never seen birds use a witches broom for nesting.
Fingers crossed.

This is a large Hedgehog i've seen last 2 nights at our garden
It was looking worse for wear this morning - took it to get some attention - small puncture wound & blood on its back, looks like a dog has had a hold of it.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

The boys are back in town.. & the girls

The wait & the worry are over...

Long-eared Owl pairs are finally back on territory.

A near perfect night saw keen members of the Bird Clubs Owl Study Group stride in action..

Males "singing" from 18:10 or so tonight & in wing clap display flights from 18:25

What an absolute relief that theyre back....

For decades they never left us....

Fingers crossed for a decent season.


I chose a site hoping for roding Woodcock & saw my first of the year which made 2 passes, a bonus was a Snipe drumming briefly.
The female called almost constantly for 50mins - she was in a Birch which was festooned with Witches Brooms.
Ive read (Scott) that they have nested in these meristematic disorders of the tree, but have yet to see or find one, so fingers double crossed here.

A lowland Short-eared has been displaying this past week or so & mobbing human intuders so this may lead to something too hopefully....

On the other hand it may well call, spiral up hundreds of feet at dusk & pin out on the northern horizon as I watched one do on Monday....

Tawnies have been busy daylight calling, last week I heard birds from Kelloe, Bishop Auckland & close to home.

Little Owls on the other hand may have been consumed by Buzzards close to home... falling away every month it seems...