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Thursday, 17 February 2011

Short-eared Owl at Porth Hellick!

Sunrise over Hugh Town from Star Castle Hotel

    I took advantage of the calm sunny weather and scanned for twenty minutes off Star Castle. From here there was a single Black-throated and 18 Great Northern Diver. Just below me there was a Blackcap calling and a Peacock Butterfly shot by.

   After an unsuccessful go at Porth Hellick two nights ago for owls, Paul, Martin, Higgo, Ritchie, Big Al and I arranged to meet at 17.30. Paul arrived half an early before us and as result he got the Short-eared Owl briefly hunting near the main road! We all made are way towards the end hide, however, I carried on along the boardwalk and heard a male Firecrest in the bushes to my right. I located it and quickly got the others.
  They all moved on to the fields where we saw the SEO two nights ago, while I thought the owl might be hunting over at Giants Castle and made my way up there. After a few minutes, I noticed I had no reception and turned around and returned to find Ritchie waiting on the main path, looking over Porth Hellick, at Salkee. The other three were in a nearby field while Martin was somewhere else. I joined Ritchie and after ten minutes I picked up the SEO flying low across the field close to my right from the direction of Giants Castle! Ritchie was soon on to it, as it continued through the pines of the loop and over towards Salkee. By now the others were also on to it as it perched at the top of a tall Elm for a few minutes. At the same time, the Woodcock came through on the same flight pattern as the previous two visits and then the SEO flew off low back towards the loop trail where we lost it.

  It turned out to be a successful evening for all and this time we arranged to be at Porth Hellick tomorrow at 17.00.

It was pretty dark and I would never have found this male Firecrest if it was not singing

Short-eared Owl at Salkee

Two shots of the moon reflecting off Porth Hellick Bay

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