Monday, 19 October 2015

Owling on Portland

Sandwiched between close encounters with a Red-backed Shrike, I spent yesterday afternoon on Portland looking for owls. I would say 'owling' but, according to the trusty Urban Dictionary, rather than 'looking for owls', this apparently now means perching owl-like on a variety of objects and photographing one's self before tweeting (hooting, surely?) the results out on the internet. Kids today.

Short-eared Owls had been coming in off the sea all weekend and while I was unable to stay 'til dusk, which would have provided the best chance of seeing multiple birds hunting and going to roost, I was reasonably confident about seeing one as they are the most likely owl to be seen flying in the daytime. In the end I saw just one, flushed from a field edge as I walked along the west cliffs - it flew directly away and dropped out of sight so I was only able to get a rear view record shot. Frustrating, but they all count for the photo yearlist. Much more compliant were the Portland Bill Little Owls, catching some rays in the afternoon sun. Also the first time I have photographed this species in 2015.
Little Owl, Portland Bill (#228)
I spent a happy 10 minutes photographing the Little Owls before an over-enthusiastic photographer bounded up behind me - at this point they decided they didn't want that big an audience and retired to their crevices
'No more photos!'
The wrong end of a Short-eared Owl (#229)
Northern Wheatear against the backdrop of Portland Bill's Top Fields
Windswept grass, sea, sky - and birds: Portland in October

No comments:

Post a Comment