Tuesday 23rd October: Short-eared Owl

Suddenly the Meadow has got "birdy" again. It's almost like a switch has been flipped: the dull, damp conditions and the rain has softened up the surrounding grass and the patch is now alive with birds. There are of course the usual winter ducks: the wigeon are widely spread out along the North Shore and the Hinterland with the teal and shoveler dabbling along the margins. The golden plover flock is still about one thousand strong with the striking grey-toned bird still in amongst them. Suddenly we've got waders again: there have been two or three DUNLIN in amongst the plover flock, yesterday there was a REDSHANK with them as well and today there was a CURLEW on the Hinterland. It's also SNIPE city out there at present with the boggy conditions attracting at least 100 birds along the North Shore.

There was a good gull roost tonight with 8 COMMON GULLS in amongst them (all adults apart from one first winter), 1 greater black-backed gull and a couple of herring gulls in amongst the lesser black-backed contingent.

The pride of place however goes to a SHORT-EARED OWL sighting in Burgess Field, seen independently by myself a couple of days ago and Alexander Martin today.

A couple of action snaps of the Golden Plover in flight - these shots belie just 
how gloomy it actually was out there this evening.

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