Monday, 23 February 2009

Owls, bats etc

I did a fair bit of birding at the weekend. I won't go into all the details (it involved the finer points of gull ID, among other things), but some interesting snippets were:

  • As I watched three or maybe four Short-eared Owls at their regular wintering spot at Great Easton, there was the unmistakable hooting of a Tawny Owl. After much scanning with the scope, it was possible to pick out two Tawnys in a nearby tree, sitting tight. One was noticeably much darker than the other. I've been in my current house for getting on nine years, and hear Tawnys on a regular basis, but I've never seen one in daylight, so two was a thrill.
  • At Swithland Reservoir, there was a bat hawking for insects in broad daylight (about 3pm). No idea what kind, I'm afraid.
  • Also at Swithland, I saw one of the resident Peregrines drop like a stone - the trademark stoop. I say trademark, but they usually seem to use a much shallower hunting dive there. This was practically vertical - and my heart (or maybe it was my stomach) rose to meet it.


Coastcard said...

Sounds like a good trip. We saw very few birds this last weekend, but like you, i have enjoyed watching bats in broad daylight. We saw them last summer on a grey humid day, flitting above the trees at Aberdulais Falls. A very evocative site. I wonder if you have read 'On a Bat's Wing'? You will find details on my aNobii pages (lower right of my blog page).

Matt Merritt said...

I haven't, Caroline - I'll have a look at that.