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

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...

1 comment:

Richard Pegler said...

That's a great image, Stevie - full of atmosphere.

I too have come to the conclusion that Buzzards have become a significant factor in the demise of the LOs. It seems that Buzzards find a LO site, hang around constantly for a few weeks, the LOs disappear, then the Buzzards buzz off, but the LOs don't come back - probably having fallen prey to the Buzzards. Think I saw the end of a LO at the hands of a Buzzard - Buzzard was attacking something on the ground with LO alarm sounds briefly heard (couldn't get to the location to investigate however, and LOs not seen since). I can't see that weather conditions and food supplies have been a great factor as, to my mind, it's not been too bad for the past couple of years. There is, however, one school of thought which suggests that all UK LOs stem from a number of introduced birds, and possibly the gene pool is too limited.

I hope you have a good year - - - Richard