Birdwatch: a pair of barn owls make our midsummer’s evening

We came in search of quail – surely one of Britain’s most elusive birds – and, although we failed to see, or even hear our quarry, we did enjoy a midsummer’s evening to remember.

My companions and I had ventured south of the Polden Hills, that long, low ridge that passes for the highlands above the flatlands of the Somerset Levels. On the broad, open moor, we were serenaded by the chaotic trilling of countless sedge warblers, the ponderous notes of reed buntings, and the urgent chacking call of a male stonechat, carefully shepherding his brood of half a dozen newly fledged youngsters, like a proud dad collecting the kids from school.

But the highlight came from an unexpected quarter: not low, in the fields around us, but high above. A barn owl (Tyto alba), glowing white in the setting sun, passing straight over our heads. For the next half hour we watched not just one, but two barn owls – presumably a breeding pair – heading low over the fields to hunt, each then flying back to the nest site carrying a vole in its talons. In a summer when, for me at least, sightings of this charismatic hunter have been few and far between, it gladdened the heart to see them thriving.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Enter Your Information Below To Receive Free Trading Ideas, Latest News, And Articles.

Please Enter Your Email Address:




Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Wildlife returning to Yorkshire moorland a year after blaze

Short-eared owls, curlews and mountain hares have returned to Yorkshire moorland that was devastated by fire a year ago, the National Trust has said. Rangers...

Rowan Williams urges UK universities to divest from fossil fuels

Former archbishop says oil firm holdings not compatible with duty to next generationThe former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has called on UK universities...

Country diary: the insect mosh pit in the chalk scrub

I am in the garden, gently nodding along to the strains of Joy Division - specifically She's Lost Control, being played for the fourth...

Trading Schedule Changes in June FBS

Junes comes with several religious holidays that may affect your trading plans. Keep in mind the changes before placing orders. On June 1, people...

Reannounced and reheated: Johnson’s ‘new deal’ plans fall short in every way | Miatta Fahnbulleh

Prime minister Boris Johnson's speech promised to "build, build, build" as he invoked the spirit of Franklin Roosevelt, but his plans fell far short...