Almost There

August 15, 2010 at 10:43 am

Black Guillemotl

With only its ear tufts to grow this young Long Eared Owl looks very much like an adult. By now it is well able to catch prey for itself and will soon be driven away from the nesting area and will have to look for a wood of its own. There will be many more doing the same in the next few months as they have had an exceptional breeding season which is good news for us as it is always a good day when you find a roosting Long Eared Owl.

Whilst watching Barn Owls a few nights ago at dusk I found a field of maize that was being used as a roosting place for five hundred plus Swallows. It is a long time since I watched Swallows roosting but it is still an exciting sight and to think that this field is just one staging post for their migration to South Africa. Forty years ago this month I was part of a group that caught and ringed more than five thousand Swallows in the reed beds near Wigan. We had many of those birds recovered in South Africa. The sound of Swallows gathering at dusk always brings back good memories of those nights at Wigan. The only difference being that on those occasions there were more than ten thousand birds present each night!

In the garden there are still family parties of Goldfinches coming to feed. Some of the young have only just fledged the nest.