Barn Owls are very close to the top of my favourite birds list, with their heart-shaped face, buff back and wings and pure white underparts, the Barn Owl is always fantastic see quartering the moors. It always lifts my spirits watching their ghostly form silently floating along hunting for their prey.
Although a nocturnal hunter they will show in daylight hours especially during the breeding season or if the weather has been bad and they are hungry. They can eat 3 to 4 prey a night and more when feeding young. So they can be very susceptible to poor weather especially rain and wind. To be honest if I’ve been watching an Owl regularly and the weather’s been bad I will stay away and leave it be.
I usually just sit quietly under a hedge line and wait patiently and with a bit of luck they may show in daylight hours.
I am aware of nesting locations but I never approach for fear of disturbance and they are heavily protected birds.
Wild barn owls are given the highest level of legal protection possible under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Short eared Owls can sometimes be found locally and there is always an influx of continental birds during the winter season. Like Barn Owls they are amazing to watch and if the prey is good will often stay in an area for some time. Again like any wild birds I always just sit quietly and let them come to me if I’m lucky. I tend to keep any sighting to myself and a couple of trusted friends who I know will not be tempted to disturb them. They will often hunt during in daylight hours and if the sun catches their eye the yellow glow is mesmerizing.
I’m so missing not being able to see them this season.
Keywords:barn, eared, owls, owls, short