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Barn Owls

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Old Friday 30th October 2009, 19:34   #1
Hobbes2
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Question Barn Owls

Hi folks
I see from the Herts Bird Club website sightings that a couple of Barn Owls have been spotted out near Hatfield (http://www.hnhs.org/birds/),

"Hatfield, 2 Barn Owl, 2 Barn owls seen at the back of the New Barnfield Site in field near Parsons wood, OS grid ref TL223061 (B Donovan)"

I've never seen one and wonder if this might be my first real opportunity. However, I'm not sure how I should go about it?! Should I go out at dawn/dusk or are Barn Owls pretty visible/active during the day time? How do I go about locating them from the above grid reference (nearest postcode is: AL10 8YF)? It feels a bit like going to look for a needle in a hay stack, lol.

Any help, advice or pointers would be gratefully received.
Many Thanks
Hobbes
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Old Friday 30th October 2009, 19:45   #2
Bananafishbones
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I cant help you with your location of Barn Owls but a good hour before dusk is always good, they do tend to hunt before dark

Good luck, you wont be disapointed

here is one from up hear in the NW during day light

Dave
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Old Friday 30th October 2009, 19:59   #3
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There's a footpath running round that area, and the gird ref narrows it down to 100m x 100m... http://www.multimap.com/maps/?qs=TL2...23061|TL223061

I'd say with directions that good you shouldn't fail to find a bird as obvious as a Barn Owl, which is pretty easy to spot hunting at dawn and dusk. I'd take a wander around a little before sunset, preferably on a clear evening after rain overnight the night(s) before.

In my experience, if Barn Owls are about they'll be out hunting at least in the twilight as long as the weather is good, and expecially if recent bad weather has limited their hunting. With a little luck you'll see them later in the mornign or earlier in the evening in better light.

Graham
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Old Friday 30th October 2009, 20:06   #4
Hobbes2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananafishbones View Post
I cant help you with your location of Barn Owls but a good hour before dusk is always good, they do tend to hunt before dark

Good luck, you wont be disapointed

here is one from up hear in the NW during day light

Dave
Hello Dave
Thanks for the tip. I remember seeing your gorgeous Barn Owl photos - it'd be nice to get some that good. If it's not chucking it down with rain tomorrow evening, I may head out there and see what I can find.....
Thanks
Hobbes
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Old Friday 30th October 2009, 20:15   #5
Mike Price
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananafishbones View Post
I cant help you with your location of Barn Owls but a good hour before dusk is always good, they do tend to hunt before dark

Good luck, you wont be disapointed

here is one from up hear in the NW during day light

Dave
Hi Dave,

Where was this taken i've been trying to find owls unsucessfully for a couple of weeks now (although I did drive past a little owl on a wall one morning).

Thanks

Mike
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Old Friday 30th October 2009, 20:15   #6
Hobbes2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitterntwisted View Post
There's a footpath running round that area, and the gird ref narrows it down to 100m x 100m... http://www.multimap.com/maps/?qs=TL2...23061|TL223061

I'd say with directions that good you shouldn't fail to find a bird as obvious as a Barn Owl, which is pretty easy to spot hunting at dawn and dusk. I'd take a wander around a little before sunset, preferably on a clear evening after rain overnight the night(s) before.

In my experience, if Barn Owls are about they'll be out hunting at least in the twilight as long as the weather is good, and expecially if recent bad weather has limited their hunting. With a little luck you'll see them later in the mornign or earlier in the evening in better light.

Graham
Hi Graham
Thanks for your very helpful post. Looks like my Barn Owl hopes might be realised....
All the best
Hobbes
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Old Saturday 31st October 2009, 17:34   #7
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Hi Dave,

Where was this taken i've been trying to find owls unsucessfully for a couple of weeks now (although I did drive past a little owl on a wall one morning).

Thanks

Mike
Sorry for the delay Mike, only just logged back on....

Parkgate marsh, an hour before sunset, you should get Short eared Owls, Hen Harriers, and maybe a Marsh harrier too

Good luck
Dave
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Old Saturday 31st October 2009, 17:44   #8
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Also remember that because they don't fly when it's raining if it rains in the evening and overnight then they'll be out as soon as it's dry the next day - in Norfolk I saw one flying around hunting at 9-10am for that reason. I've heard that they also don't really hunt when it's very windy.

Good luck! When I got my first good view of one in the summer it was an amazing experience, they really are stunning birds to watch.
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Old Saturday 31st October 2009, 18:18   #9
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Also remember that because they don't fly when it's raining if it rains in the evening and overnight then they'll be out as soon as it's dry the next day - in Norfolk I saw one flying around hunting at 9-10am for that reason. I've heard that they also don't really hunt when it's very windy.

Good luck! When I got my first good view of one in the summer it was an amazing experience, they really are stunning birds to watch.
Hi Paul
Thanks for the tips. It was a beautiful evening here and I went out just before sunset but didn't come across the birds that had been spotted yesterday. Having said that, I was a bit nervous about traipsing across fields at dusk in the middle of no-where, lol, so didn't wander too far. Maybe I'll have better luck next time....
thanks
Hobbes

P.S. Meant to say - I like your Blog Paul - nice pics

Last edited by Hobbes2 : Saturday 31st October 2009 at 19:12.
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