Sunday, 16 September 2012

Shorties keep on coming

Last autumn saw an unprecedented (well in my time at least) influx of Short-eared Owls into Wales. In over 20 years of lamping I have rarely seen and never caught Shorties before, although Dave Reed did lamp one at Ynyslas back in the late 1980's. Last night I caught the second at Ynyslas in a fortnight and our 5th since November!

An adult female in moult, surely one of the birds present in the dunes all summer and almost certainly the "cover girl" of the Ceredigion Bird Report

It is clear from sightings by local birdwatchers that many of the birds that arrived last autumn stayed on to breed, or at least attempt to! What a crying shame we had such a crap summer - we could have been knee deep in young SEOs by now! It will be very interesting to see just how many we encounter this winter when out lamping for Golden Plover and Woodcock.

Not much small stuff present, not surprising given the presence of at least two marauding owls, but 13 Dunlin and a single Ringed Plover were also caught.

One of two SEOs present at the point last night. At one point one was watched
powering out to sea in pursuit of, as it turned out, a very fortunate Dunlin. During the winter, at Llanerfyl, Paul watched one killing and carrying off a Lapwing!

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