Friday 30 March 2012

Short-eared owl at Papercourt Meadows

In the morning I went to Banstead woods to join David for a bit of 'patching'. David's friend, Richard, was also there. As we were moving off I noticed a male reed bunting on top of the hedge. David was sceptical but Richard managed to get his scope on it straight away. After a few seconds it dropped down the other side of the hedge and was never seen again!! Poor David didn't see it and it is quite a rare bird for that area!

Chiff chaff - Banstead.
Blue tit - Banstead.
Dunnock - Banstead.

Later that day, I went to Papercourt Meadows. I'd wanted to check out the short-eared owls, there for some time. Even with the petrol shortage I felt it was worth the 17-mile drive.

Found the meadows OK but wasn't sure where the owls would be. Decided to walk away from the sun so the light would be better. Got distracted by some stonechats for about 45 mins. Then I saw a chap on a fallen tree trunk watching something. As I approached him he said there was an owl. A few seconds later a beautiful Short-eared owl flew from its perch in a tree about 150-200 metres away and started quartering the field. He quickly flew off and didn't come back for 20 mins or so. Managed some distant shots but he never really came very close. I may go back again soon to get closer.
Stonechat, male - Papercourt Meadows
Short-eared owl - Papercourt Meadows
Short-eared owl - Papercourt Meadows