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Mrs Trackman

Owls-where are they all?

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Long Eared Owl - very secretive basically I would discount it. Short eared owl - not really a bird of the sorts of habitat I know of near canals.

 

 

 

I've watched long eared owls over the gravel pits by the soar at Watermead on a couple of occasions, so not entirely out of the question

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August / September is probably the best time to hear owls (especially Tawny). This year's young start to explore their locale with the mother in reasonably close attendance, within hooting distance anyway.

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I've watched long eared owls over the gravel pits by the soar at Watermead on a couple of occasions, so not entirely out of the question

I don't want to cast doubts on your identification abilities but are you certain it wasn't a Short Eared Owl? Short Eared Owls do tend to crop up in places other than their usual moorland/heathland type of habitat and so might be seen quartering open spaces such as gravel pits. The Short Eared Owl is also by far the most diurnal of the British Owls.

 

Long Eared Owls are in my experience much more secretive birds of enclosed habitats such as deep woodland.

 

The clincher on species would be which was it nearest in colour to a Barn Owl or a Tawny Owl.

 

Neither are totally out of the question but for somebody still learning the jizz of the species I felt best not to complicate matters too much.

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We've been told of Long-eared Owls in the trees & fields near Kingsbury Water Park on the Birmingham & Fazeley but have never seen or heard them.

We did have some great sightings of a pair and their fledged young on a campsite in France a few years ago, so we know what to look and listen for.

We have often seen Barn and Little owls in the past too. We are just worried that we see and hear owls less often than we did.

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Since the production of the first Breeding Atlas (68 -72) all species of British Owls have decreased by 10 to 15 % (up to 91) I haven't seen up to date figures but a new Atlas is due out this summer so should show a more recent image of what is happening.

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Not quite! Jim Shead only lists 4 "Tawny Owls", but several screenfuls of "Kingfishers"!

ALBERT OWL passed us today on the river LEE

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Not the best of photos, but it took me almost 2 weeks to get this close. Taken at TYLE MILL LOCK K&A. in MAY this yearSAM_0285.jpg

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Nice one, well done!

I bet you didn't hear a thing - if they aren't hooting, owls fly very silently, which I suppose helps them surprise their prey. A couple of people came and flew some in our school gym once and they were absolutely silent. The owls, that is.

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Great photo. It's hard to get a decent pic in low light.

 

I assume you're using a dslr? (Digital single lens reflex camera, for those aren't into photography)

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Is it an owl makes that 'screak' noise one hears in the trees after dark? Specifically, we would always hear it in the car park at Braunston marina last summer, but I've heard it in a variety of locations on the cut this year too.

 

The sound is best described as being like the noise a cuddly toy with a squeaker sewn into it makes, when squeezed, but LOUDER! Only ever hear it after nightfall.

 

MtB

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I don't want to cast doubts on your identification abilities but are you certain it wasn't a Short Eared Owl? Short Eared Owls do tend to crop up in places other than their usual moorland/heathland type of habitat and so might be seen quartering open spaces such as gravel pits. The Short Eared Owl is also by far the most diurnal of the British Owls.

 

Long Eared Owls are in my experience much more secretive birds of enclosed habitats such as deep woodland.

 

The clincher on species would be which was it nearest in colour to a Barn Owl or a Tawny Owl.

 

Neither are totally out of the question but for somebody still learning the jizz of the species I felt best not to complicate matters too much.

 

No, it was a long ear (I used to do this sort of thing for a living for one of the wildlife trusts!) . If it's any consolation, I've seen short eared owls on Hilbre Island , so I know the difference.

 

Crikey "Jizz" I thought that was just a term us botanists used - I don't hang around with birders that much

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Like RWLP we are the proud owners of an 'owl'.

The Trackmen had us watching a Little Owl feeding at Kegworth Shallow lock a couple of yeras ago. And on our Easter travels we saw a barn owl in flight at about mid-day around Kibworth Harcourt,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tyto Alba - Barn Owl

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Crikey "Jizz" I thought that was just a term us botanists used - I don't hang around with birders that much

First I've ever heard of it and I've been birdwatching for 40 years.

 

I seem to recall it being used in another context, in my teenage years.

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Is it an owl makes that 'screak' noise one hears in the trees after dark? Specifically, we would always hear it in the car park at Braunston marina last summer, but I've heard it in a variety of locations on the cut this year too.

 

The sound is best described as being like the noise a cuddly toy with a squeaker sewn into it makes, when squeezed, but LOUDER! Only ever hear it after nightfall.

 

MtB

Probably either the contact call of a female Tawny or dependent on the time of year fledgling contact calls again tawny.

 

If you can be bothered to try listening to the calls here

 

http://www.wildowl.co.uk/owlcalls.html

 

You will probably confirm what it was.

Not the best of photos, but it took me almost 2 weeks to get this close. Taken at TYLE MILL LOCK K&A. in MAY this yearSAM_0285.jpg

If I had managed to take that I would be very proud of it. Well done!

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It was huge, it's feet were like tarantulas...

These possible owl sounds MB mentioned, I did try a website like that with call sounds on it at the time, but am none the wiser.

I ended up making up a story about an animal called an OwlTroll that is stalked through the forest by another creature, the VacTan, to explain it away. :D

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Took this in April last year, near Grafton Regis on the GU. Not the best photo, but my excuse is that the owl was flying and I was steering a moving boat.

 

005cropped_zps58e0bbed.jpg

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Great Owl pics.Looking for some Aussie Barn Owl pics,I know I've got some taken at night but not flying.They are common throughout Australia and look the same as your Tyto Alba.Here's a {nearly} owl,a frogmouth.I usualy see a lot more of these than Owls when out at night.Frogmouth_zpsca87476f.jpg

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Oh wow. What a knowledgeable lot you all are. Thanks for the tips, very useful. And I love the pictures, almost, but not quite, makes up for seeing so few in the last years. Thanks too to RichardT-how could I have forgotten the little owl that entertained us whilst we waited for the Soar to go out of the red.

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Coasty Lonewolf and I saw an eagle owl last summer at Kinver

My mate has an Eagle Owl and it flew off once and disappeared for a few weeks.

 

Eventually it was spotted cosying up to the plastic owl that was put on the Northampton Town Hall roof to deter pigeons.

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It was huge, it's feet were like tarantulas...

These possible owl sounds MB mentioned, I did try a website like that with call sounds on it at the time, but am none the wiser.

I ended up making up a story about an animal called an OwlTroll that is stalked through the forest by another creature, the VacTan, to explain it away. biggrin.png

 

Trouble is, your writing skills were a little rusty at the time.... :D

 

Anyone seen my coat?

 

 

MtB

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