Your Birding Month
Five birds to find this month include Treecreeper, Stonechat and Goldeneye
WE DON’T OFTEN feature non-native birds as Bird of the Month. But there is something about the Little Owl which allows it to fit in seamlessly in our countryside, and makes it feel like it has been here forever. Unlike Ring-necked Parakeets, Pheasants or Red-legged Partridges, no one ever moans about these newcomers spreading through Britain. Of course, it helps that they are cute (they are, after all, small owls) and it can’t hurt that they are unobtrusive and hardly abundant and in your face. And their ‘natural’ range is only a short hop over the English Channel, so their presence doesn’t jar with our countryside. Unobtrusive they may be, but they are, along with Barn and Short-eared Owls, one owl species which can often be seen in the daytime. Unlike, the other two, Little Owls are not usually seen flying about, hunting, but rather, spending time sitting still in a favoured tree, or on a favoured barn roof etc. They are unmistakable when seen this way, looking like small round balls, not much bigger than a Blackbird. They are grey-brown with white spots and once you have been stared at by those piercing yellow eyes, you will know you have been seen!