Posts Tagged ‘Barn Owl’

Highlights of 2017:Barn Owl

Posted: January 10, 2018 in Birds, Natural History, Norfolk, UK
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Continuing my highlights of 2017, I must include the wonderful opportunity I got to see and photograph Barn Owls whilst we were on holiday in Norfolk.

Barn Owls

Posted: October 24, 2017 in Birds, Natural History
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One of the highlights of our trip to Norfolk were the Barn Owls in the fields behind the Cottage.

Sue and I spent two weeks exploring the north of Norfolk and would like to share some of the highlights of our trip.

 

Our first stop on arriving in Norfolk was at the WWT reserve at Welney in Fenland. This reserve is best known for its wintering migratory swans but it is good all year round. The really good thing is that you can birdwatch why you eat your lunch in the restaurant (if you can get a table by the windows!). We were lucky and so were able to look out over Lady Fen and the feeding stations. The former was quiet with just a couple of Little Egrets, but the feeders didn’t disappoint with House Sparrows, Dunnock, Goldfinch and a single Tree Sparrow present.

The view from the cafe in the Welney visitor centre -wildlife watching whilst you eat

Little Egret

Tree Sparrow

 

After finishing our lunch, we made our way over to the main hide where there was a large group of Ruff along with Lapwing and Black-Tailed Godwits.  Sue found a group of Common Snipe feeding in the margins and we counted a maximum of 14 birds at different times. A female Marsh Harrier was seen in the distance,

Common Snipe

We made our way back to the balcony overlooking Lady Fen and were treated to a fly-past by a Eurasian Hobby

Leaving Welney we made our way to East Barsham, north of Fakenham, which would be our base for the next two weeks. Relaxing over a cup of tea in the garden we saw a family of pheasants who with white backs, probably one of the variants originally bred for shooting which now is now breeding in the wild. A Common Whitethroat, amongst other small birds, was seen in a hedge.

Common Pheasants in the garden (normal plumage)

 

As the sun began to set we were excited to see a Barn Owl fly through the meadow beyond the garden and land in a tree where there is a breeding box. After a brief stop, he went away over the fields. Later he settled on a post at end of the garden.

 

Barn Owl in field behind our cottage

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Western Barn Owl [sp] (Tyto alba)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Eurasian Tree Sparrow [sp] (Passer montanus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

 

Barn Owl

Posted: March 16, 2016 in Birds, Natural History
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Here are some photos of the Barn Owls Keith and I saw at Cliffe last week.

photo by Keith

photo by Keith

DSCN0858a

 

photo by Keith

photo by Keith

 

Barn Owl. Photo by Keith

Photo by Keith

 

Barn Owl

RSPB Cliffe

RSPB Cliffe

 

A bright sunny winters morning found Keith and I at the RSPB reserve at Cliffe in north Kent. As is traditional with visits to Cliffe we began our visit at West Court Farm by visiting Tabitha’s mobile cafe for some sustenance to set us up for the day. Bacon roll and tea consumed it was time to turn our attention to the surrounding farmlands and lakes. A few greylag geese were present along with some Teal. As we checked out the surrounding lakes Keith went off to look over one while I checked out another. My attention was suddenly drawn to a white bird flying over the road from one lake to another. There was something about the flight which was not gull-like and to my surprise when I got the binoculars on it – it was a Sandwich Tern. This summer visitor has overwintered in small numbers in recent years, so this could have been an overwintering bird or an early returnee since records usually begin from the first week in March. Unfortunately, by the time Keith returned the bird had gone.

Sandwich Tern. Photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

Sandwich Tern. Photo by Sergey Yeliseev
(https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

 

Cliffe Village

Cliffe Village

 

Moving on we arrived at the RSPB reserve. Generally speaking, it seemed very quiet although we did have a brief view of 3 Meditteranean Gulls flying over and a single drake Goldeneye alongside the usual species. Nether the less we steadily increased the number of species as we visited different parts of the reserve. We had excellent views, if distant, of a Peregrine sitting on the ground near the sea wall. In the late afternoon as we approached the Black barn, Keith saw a Barn Owl over the red-bed. we watched it for a while and then it disappeared. A few minutes later we relocated it, or so we thought, beyond the barn hunting over the fields. Imagine our surprise when we were then  treated to 2 Barn Owls at the same time as the first one re-appeared in its original area.

Barn Owl. Photo by Keith

Barn Owl. Photo by Keith

 

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

 

After the Barn Owls had disappeared Keith located a Greenshank on a pool edge.

Greenshank. Photo by Tony Sutton.  (https://www.flickr.com/photos/59269512@N08/)

Greenshank. Photo by Tony Sutton.
(https://www.flickr.com/photos/59269512@N08/)

An odd day. It seemed very quiet, but we still got a good species count of 56. It was relatively still, sunny and quiet warm – an ideal day for seeing birds of prey hunting and yet we had only seen 1 bird of prey and that was on the ground! But those Barn Owls made the day!

Little Egret. Phot by Keith

Little Egret. Photo by Keith

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Peregrine Falcon [sp] (Falco peregrinus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Western Barn Owl [sp] (Tyto alba)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)

Save Britain’s Barn Owls

Posted: March 24, 2014 in Birds, Natural History
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Please Sign the petition to help protect these beautiful birds

Green Living London

Image

A petition has been launched to save Britain’s Barn Owls, which are dying off in their thousands. The changing climate and a loss in their natural habitat is part of the picture, but these iconic birds are also being killed by powerful rat poisons used on farms across the country.

In 2013 across Britain, the number of Barn Owl nests varied between 45 and 95% lower than normal. Changing climate and habitat loss is part of the picture but Barn Owls are also being killed by powerful rat poisons used on farms across the country. Indeed, the latest scientific research shows that 84% of Britain’s Barn Owls feed on poisoned prey. Some die as a direct result.

The Barn Owl Trust has launched a petition which calls on the Government Minister responsible for the review, Mike Penning, and the Health and Safety Executive to impose stricter controls on these powerful poisons, restricting…

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Barn Owl Trust e-petition

Posted: January 28, 2014 in Birds, Natural History
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Please sign this petition. Barn Owls have enough other dangers to survival without us adding to them

Radnor Bird Blog

Can I please draw your attention for signing this petition,  calling for stronger controls against the use of powerful rodent poisons which are killing our Barn Owls.  It will only take a minute, for more info please go to :

http://www.barnowltrust.org.uk/infopage.html?Id=150#poison

Thank you all.

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