I was driving to work this morning when, just down the road from me an Owl flew over. Pulled in as soon as I had a clear view to search. The bird was far too big for a Barn Owl. It had a huge wingspan as it quartered open marshy fields probably ruling out Tawny. Unfortunately the sun had yet to start rising so it's gone into the notebook as a "possible" Short-eared Owl.
The WeBS count as Stithians today went ok but there were far too many dog walkers for my liking. I can tolerate them if they behave but they just cannot keep dogs on leads and out of the water. This is not an issue I get on the coastal site, only people I see there really are serious runners and coast path walkers. I picked up ringed Herring Gull, it's actually a local bird ringed in Falmouth by Mark Grantham. Snipe were very visible with over 20 recorded. Teal approaching the 100 mark, a few Lapwing left as the water levels rise and force them off. 2 lovely Goldcrest up by the dam.
This evening it was up the road again to confirm this Owl. Two years ago I had a Barn Owl fly across in front of me in the same sort of spot, the day after I saw it again and a couple of days later it came out with another Owl that wasn't Barn. Definitely either Short-eared or Long-eared. It wasn't until a few days later when I had crippling views of this second Owl sitting on a granite boundary wall that I was able to confirm it as a Short-eared. That's what's behind the earlier comment from this morning. When I got up there around 4pm it was raining lightly. A flock of Meadow Pipit's went up, Kestrel hunting adjacent. A Raven called out and a distant flock of Lapwing were picked out. The light was starting to fade but the rain was also getting heavier. With waterproofs on I persevered. House lights on, fires lit all around - who wants to sit at home in front of the fire when you can be out looking for Short-eared's. Another check of the granite walls and against the skyline a pair of ears - bloody rabbit. Unfortunately it wasn't going to happen as by 5.15pm it was too wet for Owl's so it's home for tea and a bottle of beer.