With varying numbers but some days as many as 20 Short-eared Owls being reported throughout the month at a site not too many miles from Stanford, Ed finally succumbed to the temptation, went to see them and managed a photograph.
Here is his report:
On Sunday 20th November I finally managed to take a trip across to the site at Maidwell in Northants to see if I could see the abundance of Short Eared Owls that had been reported there.
The day had been quite misty and following a break in the weather I headed off mid afternoon. I chose to walk the last mile, although you can drive, and on approaching the site I saw my first Shortie take to the wing from a tree not too far from the track that I was following.
The site had pockets of photographers dotted along the track so finding the right spot to stand wasn’t too difficult to work out.
I didn’t have to wait long either, in less than two minutes there was one flying around, swooping down low over the scrub and periodically landing. After that they seemed to be everywhere, but the most I counted at any one time was four. At one point two of the owls had a dispute and a mid-flight brawl but unfortunately they were too far away to photograph.
I was however treated to one flying quite close and passing within 30 metres or so as it went to the field behind to hunt up and down the hedgerow.
My visit was quite short lived, after only being at the site for half an hour the fog rolled back in sealing off any chances of seeing the owls any more.