Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Owl fest

I returned to Canons Farm this afternoon in the hope of getting either a Short-eared Owl or a Merlin, most likely the former. After a quick check of the field by Lambert's Shaw where I found a single Common Buzzard I made my way over to the Harrier Field and was joined by Paul Goodman who wanted Barn Owl for his patch list. The light fell and the action began, a Little Owl called, this stirred another . . . and another. Just after 5.00pm Paul picked up the Barn Owl which showed extremely well on its third consecutive evening. After enjoying stunning views of this bird I picked up another Owl at 5.05pm, it was a wonderful Short-eared Owl and we both enjoyed views as it flew past us, absolutely bloody fantastic! I checked it for Long-eared but it wasn't, this final realistically possible Owl species will be the hardest to find by far; there's plenty of places they could hide. Since I started patching at Canons, Short-eared Owl has been on my list of strong possibilites and most desired finds so it was great to get one there, my fourth Owl species at the site.

This was a significant bird being the 100th species recorded at Canons Farm & Banstead Woods this year and the 110th ever. It is also my 202nd London bird, 160th local area bird and brings me to 95 for CFBW (the ten countdown going much quicker than I expected). For Paul, Barn Owl brought him into the CFBW80 Club and Shortie got him to 81. Good times.