View Full Version : Owls

Wednesday 3rd December 2003, 09:06
Seeing Robin's thread about the programme on BBC2 about owls got me thinking...

As mentioned, my own success with Owls is virtually zero - I've seen a Little Owl and that's about it, and wondered if anyone had any hints and tips.

I'm thinking in terms of location, time of year/day, behaviour patterns or anything else really....

RGds.... Ruby :t:

Wednesday 3rd December 2003, 09:25
As I said in the TV thread Elmley is a good place.

Long-eared owls have been present in the orchard there in May/June in each of the last 2 years.

Short-eared owls should be there in some numbers soon and are usually visible during the day.

Barn owls are more tricky as generally they don't appear until dusk but they are present there. I have also had good views at Oare. We have just had a week in Norfolk and had tremendous views (down to about 50 ft) of barn owl at the Stubb Mill viewpoint at Hickling Broad (and 20+ marsh harriers, 2 hen harriers and several common cranes).

Wednesday 3rd December 2003, 09:29
I also have a few bogey Owls, mine are Tawny, Barn and Little Owl. I have been closer to seeing Dark-breasted Barn Owl than a Barn Owl whiich is insane really! Had terrific views of LEO and SEO though and was about a couple of weeks too late for a Little Owl.

Wednesday 3rd December 2003, 09:34
Is this where Helenol says that she has 3 owls feeding in her back garden at the moment - lol

Wednesday 3rd December 2003, 18:35
I've only seen Tawny Owl and Little Owl.

Dave B Smith
Wednesday 3rd December 2003, 18:51
I'll enclose a link to a previous thread on finding Owls that was quite helpful.
Finding Owls (http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=9475)

As well as a Web Link:
Owling (http://www.owling.com/)

Good hunting!

Wednesday 3rd December 2003, 19:00
I'll enclose a link to a previous thread on finding Owls that was quite helpful.
Finding Owls

As well as a Web Link:

Good hunting!

Thanks Dave - I'll have a look....

Friday 5th December 2003, 00:06
Hi Ruby

Here is a link to a piece i did for Surfbirds re owl watching http://www.surfbirds.com/mb/Features/owls.html

Believe it or not Owls are very easy to see, it is just a matter of searching at the right time. In the main they seem to hunt early evening, about midnight and again before dawn, they rest in between to digest their food. Clear calm nights, contrary to popular opinion, are not the best times as they can hunt easily. the best times are without doubt damp overcast drizzley night as they hunt worms, moths etc on the wet roads. try the leeward side of woodland on a breezy night, this is always good for Tawnies, in March they will gorge on migrating Toads. January through to early April is best, as they all breed quite early in the year and have sitting female and/or young to feed, plus the trees are quite bare, so they are easier to see.

Friday 5th December 2003, 07:23
Thank you all for your hints and tips - loking forward to getting out there and giving it a go...

Rgds... Ruby

Friday 5th December 2003, 12:08
I've only seen Tawny Owl and Little Owl.

noticed you live in tyneside.go to preswick carr next to newcastle airport long eared owls there.plus barn owl at siemans old site evenings..

Sunday 7th December 2003, 20:27
Just a quick line to let you know that I doubled my owl list today (that's right - it now consists of 2!)

Popped into Elmley late this afternoon on my way back home from Reculver and saw a Short Eared Owl when driving home down the driveway in the dusk. Very good view... just perched on a fencepost at about 30m...

Dave B Smith
Sunday 7th December 2003, 20:34
Way to go Ruby!

Wednesday 10th December 2003, 23:40
I am a big owl fan & agree with Nigel that owls can be easily located.

Habitat, weather & timing are the 3 most imp. factors

i prefer sunny, calm winter afternoons or the same conditions when birds have young, best after poorer weather.

All 5 owls can be seen in broad daylight when they have a brood to feed, i have had Longeared's (with young in nest) actively hunting all day during bad weather.

Snowy/Hard Frosty evenings are great for a drive out too, especially this time of year, birds show up great against the whiteness

Mimicing calls will work & get birds too come to you.

(having said that, i've tried many times to see all 5 species in a single day, & each time failed!! - although have sites where the 5 have all been seen within a week)

Sometimes you just need a fluke, like kneeling to tie a boot lace & discovering, (due to pellets & droppings) a pair of Tawny owls 12' above.

Good Hunting.

PS Remember NOT to go home when it starts to gey Dark!