Thursday, 26 February 2015

Coastal Shorties

This afternoon I took a drive up the Northumberland coast in search of Short-Eared Owls that had been reported hunting on coastal dunes. After a 40 minute chilled drive in the afternoon sun I arrived at my destination and on my first scan of the area with my bin's I spotted my first Owl!!
It was phenomenal getting to see diurnal hunting Short-Eared Owls on the Northumbrian coast, and not just one but three!! After a solid 25-30 minutes of activity, with the birds quatering the grassy slopes in search of prey, the birds began being mobbed by corvids. One of the Owls ended up flying at a great height to prevent mobbed attack and soon all three birds dropped into the dunes.
After 15 minutes or so the birds reappeared, not as confiding as earlier mind and seemingly further apart than before.
What a treat, spending a couple of hours relaxing under the afternoon sun watching Shorties hunting and having a bit crack with a few birders. Magic!

David
Nature North East / The Northern Owl Project