Friday, 31 October 2008

31 OCTOBER 2008


Still very cold with a brisk NE wind blowing and some snow still lying in fields in sheltered areas. Remained clear for most of the day, with temperatures reaching no higher than 8 degrees.

(LGRE with Tim Watts - 1550-1700 hours)

Looking north from the layby situated just west of Aylesbury on the A41, Tim and I enjoyed a spectacular owl-fest.

The two SHORT-EARED OWLS were already hunting when TW arrived - 1540 hours - and continued to hunt over the large rough fields for the next 25 minutes. There is a dark individual and a paler bird. The latter slipped off to roost shortly after 1615 whilst the darker bird continued to hunt well into the evening, actually overlapping with the Barn Owls. It was particularly wide-ranging, eventually crossing over the Quainton road just prior to dusk, but was NOT seen to be successful in vole-catching.

Around 1645, the first of two BARN OWLS appeared, with both birds ranging widely too over the area.

There were also 4 Common Kestrels actively hunting, as well as a flock of 30 Linnets and 4 COMMON STONECHATS (2 pairs).

On the mammalian front, 3 different CHINESE WATER DEER and 3 ROE DEER were feeding.
Whitchurch; many Fieldfare and Redwing heading west, with streams of Woodpigeons flying South in the Vale of Aylesbury
Calvert BBOWT; No sign of the Ferruginous Duck, with only 2 Pochard present; 21 Eurasian Wigeon new in/60 Fieldfare over/1 adult YELLOW-LEGGED GULL with c700 L.B.B/C200 Woodpigeon
Best sighting, (witnessed also by Steve Norman), was a RED KITE 'fishing' like an Osprey!! It had seen a dead fish on the surface and on the third attempt swooped down with talons outstretched and picked it up from the lake.
Botoplh Claydon; c300 Woodpigeon/6 Fieldfare
North Marston; c50 Fieldfare. Flocks of Starlings seen at all sites visited today.

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