Saturday, 28 February 2009

Eared 'ere

Had a trawl around the Freeman's Pools area this morning and noted the following highlights:

Male stonechat
14 snipe
A flock of 10 goldeneye flew into the pools, only to leave again 10 minutes later thanks to some bloke who insisted on throwing his labrador's ball into the water for it to fetch. Despite the miles and miles of open access land and footpaths in the immediate area he decides that the one fenced off area with signs saying No Unauthorised Access is the best place to exercise his dog. Genius.
2 gadwall, 5 wigeon plus the usual mute swans, coot etc.

Then I discovered the Holy Grail, or more accurately, the long-eared owl roost. Comprised of 2 birds the spot is in a rather difficult area as far as public access is concerned, so as long as the bird/s continue to show in the evenings then I'd rather not make it public knowledge. Sorry if this bothers anyone but the birds' welfare comes first.

Single little egrets were on Frog Pond and the Wildfowlers' Pools.

I then went to check through the pinkfeet that were feeding in the fields. Approx 1500 birds were visible and despite a thorough grilling I couldn't string anything else amongst them. Two collared birds were present - TZN and THZ.

Text from Steve Wallis at approx 2.20pm - green sandpiper and short-eared owl showing.

Will be back late afternoon for more owl spotting - I'll post later...

6.30pm update

Short-eared was initially putting on a good performance but soon settled for sitting on a fence post and doing little but looking pretty. A long-eared too was showing very well around the pools and adjacent fence-posts in good light while the barn owl was the last to show up, but made up for this by being very active.
As Dan H put, the Aldcliffe owls appear happy to give a good show early on but seem to be a bit afraid of the dark...

Thanks to Guy for the pics.

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