Friday, 13 March 2009


Arriving just before 5.30pm I took the Luneside route from Keyline and was almost immediately watching a long-eared owl sat on a fencepost behind the buildings. It then began to hunt over the rough area and adjacent bank and continued to do so, giving ace views, as I headed along toward the Marsh point viewing area.
From there the LEO continued to perform on and off though, this evening failed to work the riverside posts and instead stuck around the pools area.
Soon the barn owl appeared and it gave good views for the remainder of the evening. Following a chat about that damned ermine stoat, a guy who'd been watching the owls but had left on his bike, came hurtling back to let us know that he'd just nearly run it over on the footpath! Of course, I had a good root about but it was by now doubtless sniggering at me from its hidden lair. I'm starting to hate that beast. Even Steve W sent me a text this afternoon to say he'd finally seen it...
As I was about to leave I met Tony Riden by the cycle track pull-in where we had great views again of the barn owl. Peter Chapel then caught up with us again and then what I initially took to be a long-eared owl appeared (6.25pm), flying on the far side of the pool parallel with the tree-lined footpath, but it was soon clear that it was a short-eared. This is, to my knowledge, the first confirmed sighting of SEO here for quite some time, though Peter had seen 2 'eared' owls flying around the ponds earlier though, one too briefly for positive ID (the other being LEO).
Also present at the pools were 7 goldeneye, 4 gadwall, 4 tufted duck and all the other usual stuff.
A roe deer was in the copse at Roase Cottage.

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