Owls

Bird Watching (UK) - - Challenge #my200birdyear -

Tawny Owls can be very vo­cal at this time of year, and we’re go­ing to be gen­er­ous – hear that ‘ kewick ’/ ’tu-whoo’ in­ter­play be­tween male and fe­male and you can tick it, be­cause th­ese are noc­tur­nal birds that are very dif­fi­cult to see. Barn Owls, on the other hand, hunt at dusk and some­times well be­fore, and at this time of year can be seen ev­ery­where from coastal salt­marshes to road­side verges and pas­ture­land. If it’s been rainy the pre­vi­ous night, they’re par­tic­u­larly likely to be out early, mak­ing up for lost time. Poor water­proof­ing on their feath­ers means they can’t fly well in the rain. Lit­tle Owls are also best looked for at dusk, al­though on warm af­ter­noons they may also be found bask­ing in sunny spots, keep­ing one eye out for large in­sects. Short-eared Owls be­have rather sim­i­larly to Hen Har­ri­ers at this time of year, mov­ing from up­land moors to coastal sites and marshes, where they can be seen quar­ter­ing the land in search of ro­dent prey. Long-eared Owls re­main as se­cre­tive as ever, but they too pop up at coastal marshes, and also form roosts in dense hedges and thick­ets. Even there, they can be in­cred­i­bly hard to make out, but a dawn or dusk stake-out should pay div­i­dends.

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