Reports of these silent hunters have been made recently. Their favoured haunt seems to be at Steart. My mission was to find one!
Pulling up at Combwich I was surprised at how beautiful the area looked (no disrespect to the Bridgwater area but I wouldn't describe it as picturesque). The whole area is seriously impressive as a Nature reserve and I have no doubt it will be a great alternative to Slimbridge in the future.
Wandering along the river I noted numerous Redshank and Lapwing. I wasnt entirely sure where to look for my quarry so just kept scanning whenver I could. After half an hour I spied a Merlin sat on a post. A most pleasing start!
I looked out into the rough ground. Having never seen these Owls before I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. A few weeks ago Andrew mentioned that the good stuff often happens when your binoculars are fixed in exactly the wrong direction. With this in mind a swung round and faced the river... There you are!!
A Short Eared owl flew low across the water and out into the field... Brilliant!!!
I was really pleased, a completely new bird!
But more was to come. A few minutes later he returned a provided some excellent views flying over the river
Cropped , but you can see him!
I kept on going and this Stonechat pair flitted along the fence in front of me. At one point they landed in a small tree really close but my camera refused to focus on them! So this one had to do.
Looking out into the nearby marshes, I spied 2 Shorties (I know them well enough now, so I can abbreviate). Flying low and making just short flights before dropping into the long grass and reeds. One was mobbed by a crow before vanishing. These brief views were contunued for a good half an hour.
I managed to track one which landed on rocks near the river and took another shot...
One more... Very distant but still looks nice.
The walk home gave me a good view of a female Sparrowhawk zipping over my head. As well as a hover hunting Kestrel. What a good day for Raptors!
So, are SEOS (abbreviations coming thick and fast now) my second favourite bird?
You betcha. Watch out Peregrines!!!