Monday, 28 February 2011

Buzzards and Barn Owls

Saturday morning we had Jackdaws coming onto the bird table and flying off with beakfuls of food- surely too early for them to have chicks. Barrie saw 5 buzzards soaring over the trees opposite the 77 garage in Gisburn and when we walked down later there were 3 soaring and calling. 2 kept fighting and chasing each other- rival males? On Sunday afternoon we were driving towards Slaidburn when we saw a flash of white wings behind a hedge, didn't look right for a seagull, maybe a male Hen Harrier - surely not a Barn Owl. We pulled over and another vehicle passed us and the bird appeared to fly off - Barn Owl!! Barrie rummaged for his camera on the slight chance it was still around and I got out. I looked over the wall and could see nothing. Not sure if it was me moving or Barrie winding his window down but a little white heart shaped face shot up above the reeds. The owl took off surprisingly slowly with heavy wingbeats and disappeared into the hawthorn and scrub in the valley. Feel a bit mean, if its out in the day hunting is it starving or even possibly got chicks already? Saw a Jay at Stocks reservoir and this morning had a Siskin on the bird table though it was frightened off by the Jackdaws.

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