Over the weekend I heard that a Short-eared owl had been seen on my local patch so early evening on Saturday I went to see if I could find it.
The field where it had been spotted is perfect for birds of prey, pretty much undisturbed, wide areas of rough grass suitable for quartering in search of small mammals and quiet a few posts to watch from.
I watched as the Red Kites, Buzzards and a single Kestrel finished off their hunting for the day and started to perch in the trees around the edge of the field.
Shortly after, I spotted a solitary white bird gliding backwards and forwards across the field, a few centimetres above the tips of the grass. I forgot about the Short-eared owl for a while as I watched the Barn owl hunting. Every so often it would sharply turn, dive and disappear in to the grass.
Voles make up 90% of a Short-eared owls diet and 45% of a Barn owls.
Right at the back of the field I noticed a larger brown bird moving in a similar way to the Barn owl, it was the Short-eared owl. Unfortunately it stayed right over the other side and as the field is private property I had no way of getting closer.
I’ll visit again soon and hope that the SE owl is hunting closer next time.
I have had the trail camera out over at the nursery sett recently trying to find out what has happened to last years Badger cubs.
Arrow, one of the females, is spending time there and if you look closely it looks like she has been suckling cubs.