Monday, 1 December 2014

22 November 2014: Short Eared Owls & other birds at Hawling, Gloucestershire

The plan was to spend the afternoon at Hawling, Gloucestershire to watch out for the newly arrived Short Eared Owls - 5 reported over 2 fields. To fill in the morning hours I began the day near Great Barrington looking for Great Grey Shrike and ring taile dHen Harrier that had been reported. It was a bit of a grey damp ,orning and my first find was this pair of Red Kite resting in a tree. There were clearly no thermals and, as yet, no breeze to aid soaring.

The sun did start to break through, lighting up this Kestrel very nicely.
On arrival in the Hawling area, I found a flock of Fieldfare bathing in the roadside puddles

and a flock of Linnet hiding in the bushes.
Fieldfare also in the trees.

Now positioned by the fields that the owls should use, we could see a male Stonechat.
One of the regular Kestrels was perched on the abandoned trailer, shotting off every few minutes looking for food.

In the field below us, another Kestrel was buzzing a perched Buzzard.

while another Buzzard arrived way over the fields we expect the Owls in. Turning into a bit of a raptor day. The Kestrtel was still hunting ove rthe owl field
and returning to the trailer for the occasional rest.
And then the first Short Eraed Owl appeared, a brief flight onto the wall
followed by a brief preen a couple of rouses

and then off on a first hunt.

Every so often b, back to the wall for a breather and a quick preen.

Then it was clearly time to remove the Kestrel from the field.

Having duly removed the Kestrel from its airspace it was back for another rest.
and then another hunt.

Along came another owl and it was time for a bit more aerial gymnastics - they don't seem to be a very tolerant bird(-:).

More mid air entertainment for us on the ground

I was really pleased with this shot which looks like a full talon interlock with one bird completely inverted.

A fabulous day in which we saw a total of 5 Short Eared Owls over the target fields.


  1. Words can't describe how jealous I currently am Bob. An amazing day and some truly fantastic shots. Those owls are truly beautiful.

    1. Thanks Darran, but wait till you see the next ones in sunlight(-:).