Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Short-eared Owl, Prior's Fen

A cracking lunchtime outing to Prior's Fen, which has been a bit slow for me on recent visits. Started off by clocking the Bean Geese again, but better weather didn't give any better views as they were spooked just by the car stopping. They flew off but appeared to double back to the same field very soon.

At Prior's Fen a Long-tailed Tit flock caught my attention (always check these) and a rather dull, brownish Chiffchaff was feeding silently among them. I was then distracted by a Short-eared Owl that launched itself up before dropping onto a bank not far away. Unfortunately the brief bright spell had passed so the light was very poor but I wasn't going to pass up the first chance I have ever had to photograph my favourite bird. The pics below aren't too bad considering the shutter was on about 1/8sec!

Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus)

Digiscoped with the Nikon CP995, Leica APO77 and 20x eyepiece.

Three Bewick's Swans passed over a couple of times and a Stonechat lingered at the causeway. A Pintail, a couple of Snipe and a surprise visit by 13 Ruff, no doubt displaced from the Nene Washes - where they headed back to when disturbed by a low jet, all added interest. Finally a Kingfisher belted off down one of the drains on the way back to Stonebridge Corner. Not a bad haul for a lunchtime.

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