Friday, 6 March 2009

'stoatally avoiding me

Once again the suite of 3 owls showed last night as reported by my brother Dave, M Robinson and R Hobbs.

The customary Friday 5 o'clock finish allowed me to get to the pools in good light with lots of time to spare today.
A small gathering at the cycle track viewpoint mentioned that the long-eared had been giving excellent views but had disappeared somewhere into the wooded path toward Marsh Point. By the time I got up there it was sat on the fence in full view. It then put on a stunning show which had it make its way increasingly closer - moving from riverside fencepost to fencepost allowing for detailed scrutiny of every feather on its body! Absolutely astonishing.
It eventually made its way off up the marsh and disappeared from view having been flushed by a walker.
Next up was the barn owl which started off hunting behind the Keyline buildings before flying around the pool edges and also showing itself off pretty well. There was no sign of the short-eared owl.
A minor distraction came in the form of a green sandpiper on the pools plus 2 pair of gadwall and 2 pair of 'new-in' tufted duck.
I chatted to a couple from Leeds who had come to witness the owl event of the century and they had also seen the resident ermine stoat, which seems to be seen by all and sundry yet remains to be seen by me!
Following PJMs sighting of one at Heysham earlier this week and a report I received of one at Lancaster Golf Club recently this surely has to be the highest number of ermine's recording in the local area in such a short period? Could they have moulted rapidly in response to the recent snowfall?

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