Seven short eared owls yesterday together between Combwich and Steart, about half a mile along the footpath where the track meets a hawthorn hedge and there is a small pool - on the edge of the River Parrett. Also female merlin and adult peregrine.
When I saw five SEOs there a few days ago they were very intent on roosting and not hunting. Every time something disturbed them they went back into cover again very quickly. I stayed until about 1530 but saw no extended flying. Are they still behaving the same?
Yes, the same. We walked straight past them on the way out and were surprised when another birder said he'd seen 5 'on the rocks'. We hung around til gone 3.30pm when you'd expect them to be active but they were all hunkered in the grass and rocks at the river edge.
John and Niall,
I think the 'fact' that SEO's are 'daytime' hunters is a bit of a myth. They are probably the most diurnal of our owl species, but if there is plenty of prey and they aren't hungry they will wait for dark to hunt. Some years ago there were a dozen on some set aside in North Somerset - you could hear the voles running around your feet and none of the owls emerged in any light that they could be seen.
So perhaps there is lots of prey at Steart - let's hope so.
Is that near the car park at Steart - I really want to see one!!!!
if you walk out from the car park in Combwich along the path along the bank of the River Parrett, heading towards Steart, after about half a mile the path reaches a hawthorn hedge and there is a small pool between the path and the river. The birds were in the riverside grass on the southern (Combwich)side of the pool.
Thanks - will give it a go!
where is the carpark in combwich please don't know that one 7
From what I observed last week, these are very inactive SEOs and seem quite happy roosting on the rocks and grass. Before there is a rush of people to see them can I just ask that everyone puts the Birds first and that there is no disturbance. The locals that I spoke to are very proud of these owls and like seeing them around. The SEOs should be around all winter, just like last year so they will be plenty of opportunity to see them. Thanks.
Not seen at dusk on Thursday 28th, having checked along riverside from Combwich, past the small pond as described and right up to the new excavations. Spectacular sight of 4-5000 dunlin flying in to roost on the river, with large numbers of redshank and curlew on the mudflats.