Thursday, 13 March 2014
Fog, work and owls
Work today, but I was up early in anticipation of a session on on the cliffs. I should have stayed in bed though, as after about 20 minutes, the fog rolled in, blotting out the bright morning sun and rapidly everything else: my birding was curtailed. Between 06:12 and 06:30 I'd had 9 Woodpigeons, 5 Redpolls, 5 alba Wagtails, 2 Linnets, 3 Greenfinches, 4 Siskins, a Chaffinch and a Goldfinch. I ventured out again in the late afternoon sun, crossing Redwell Marsh to Gore Point. 2 Chiffchaffs were in the swallows at the south end of Redwell and a Barn Owl hunted nearby. The dyke adjacent to the path was full of writhing toads and a Small Tortoiseshell flew west over the marsh. A Snipe flushed noisily from Lavender Marsh, where two Avocets fed unconcerned. As I watched a more distant Barn Owl hunting on the grazing marshes, I was surprised to see a Short-eared Owl at relatively close quarters in the forestry - the first here for several weeks. Scanning for other raptors, I picked up another owl heading west at great height. Whilst I certainly couldn't rule out a Long-eared Owl at that distance, this was more likely to have been another Short-eared.