Post by kentyeti on May 18, 2015 11:33:47 GMT
Did seem to be quite a popular thread in "the other place", so I'll start it going again.
Latest from Kent is that a Shortie was spotted near Reculver on the North Kent coast on Saturday. No real surprise. Kent had a good number during the winter, (circa 12 on Sheppey), and I felt then that one nor more may stay the summer. Almost certainly without breeding. Have to see if this one does stay.
I'm back home at present after two exhausting trips to Southern Scotland for fieldwork on breeding Shorties in recent weeks. Breeding started well but dreadful weather from late April was certainly slowing things down a lot. Have to see what's left when I go back. I did get to the nest of one early breeder. The male has benefited from what seemed a rapid slow down in breeding nearby as he then had the run of all adjacent territories to hunt in without challenge. From a lot of observations from my car and from egg shell debris etc on the nest I reckon circa 6 eggs were laid and 4 hatched. Two failed eggs and one young Owlet left on the nest to be ringed when I went to it. In the company of licensed ringers and Schedule I Licence I holders I hasten to add. Right to Roam and Short-eared Owls not being a Schedule 1 bird, ( I think they should be), is fine, but there is no way I am going out on a moorland without the local raptor experts and licence holders taking me when they make a scheduled visit. Too many birds ground nesting including Merlin and Hen Harrier, both Schedule 1 birds. And Shorties are vulnerable to disturbance and nest visits need to be minimised.
Any other news of British Short-eared Owls always welcome.