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Sunday, 20 March 2011

Night prowl

Peregrine

After a reasonably interesting day at Canons, the highlight being a female Peregrine (they're like buses over there), Ian and I met up again in the evening for a Badger and Tawny Owl hunt. We were watching Harrier Field in case the possible ringtail Hen Harrier that Paul Goodman and Mark Stanley had did what my male did and roost there. We had no luck and when it got very dark we went to go up Canons Lane and into Banstead Woods. We stopped outside the derelict barn where I used my bat detector to listen to a Pisistrelle. While doing so Ian pointed out a screeching noise and I got onto a Barn Owl flying away from the barns! We pegged it up to the edge of Harrier Field and looked towards where the bird flew but couldn't see it. Then, what was almost certainly a second bird burst out of the large, intact barn and flew past us, giving its screeching call as it went. We were absolutely delighted, we thought there may have been a Barn Owl somewhere but we didn't think it was in the traditional spot (which has been checked numerous times recently)!

As we passed Perrotts Farmhouse we set off Mrs Roe's security lights and this set up three or four Tawny Owls in quite a small area. They were nearby and I glimsped one in flight twice but Ian didn't get a view (he didn't miss much, visually, anyway). Several Little Owls were calling at the farm.