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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Watching owls near Cambridge? (1 Viewer)

G

Gleb Berloff

Guest
Dear friends,
In addition to raptors, I also really like observing owls, and am wondering whether you could advise me on where to observe owls in Cambridgeshire.

In regards to barn owls- I already know of an extremely reliable site for them- Brandon Fen, RSPB Lakenheath Fen. Recommend to pay this place a visit- beautiful views of them can be readily obtained. The only question I have is when to observe them and get the best photographs, as when I went a few weeks back I got a lovely image, but it was dark. Do they activate before dusk in the summer?
In regards to short-eared owls- Burwell Fen is great. However, when do short-eared owls usually start flying?
In regards to long-eared owls- I know this is a sensitive subject to many and I also know that roosts of this species are easily disturbed. All I ask is- are they still present in Lynford Arboretum? Just a vague idea is enough. This is not a priority, as I have wonderful images of them.
The two species I really want to see are little owls and tawny owls. I have heard that a tawny owl regularly roosts in Lynford Arboretum? Would it be ok if you told me where exactly ti roots, or PM me if you are uncomfortable with sharing details over the thread? In addition, is there any reliable place closer to Cambridge for them?
What would be a good and reliable spot to observe little owls? Today I tried the logpiles at Burwell fen but had no luck...
Thanks for the info!
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
Tawny Owls are rarely seen in daylight, probably the most common but most difficult owl species to see well.
 
G

Gleb Berloff

Guest
I've thought that long-eareds are the hardest to see...
I've been there at around 4, and failed to see them. Perhaps I was looking in the wrong place? The second logpile away from the car park?
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Although I've seen barn owls at 15:00 in winter when it was still light, observing them in daylight becomes a lot easier in summer, as nights shorten and they need to forage more frequently to feed young. In midsummer I've seen barn owls on the Northumberland coast active through till the middle of the day - but an early summer's morning when you have 'golden hour' lighting conditions is your optimum time for both encountering active barn owls and getting great photos.
 

SlowLowFlyingTurkey

Well-known member
There are reliable Little Owls in paddocks right next to Waterbeach railway station. The paddocks are south-west of the railway line (visible from the northbound platform) and north-west of Clayhithe Road. A fence with a line of pollarded willows runs between the two paddocks and the owls are usually in these trees or sometimes more obviously on the fence posts. They are usually easy to see in winter but become more difficult when there are leaves on the trees and the vegetation is thicker. You can walk all the way around the paddocks (but not in them) and the owls are best viewed from the public footpaths to the south-west and north-west. I've seen them here at all times of day.

Anywhere along the rivers between Waterbeach and Ely is good for Barn Owls.
 
G

Gleb Berloff

Guest
Thank you all for the information. I will try to track the species down, and might pay a visit to Burwell Fen again once the weather becomes nice again.
I will give the barn owls at Lakenheath Fen and also at Waterbeach (I've been aware for some time there is a pair right next to the station there?) a try as well. Summer towards the evening is probably best, as I have no car.
In regards to the tawny owls, yes, I know they are remarkably difficult to see. Will try to track a roost I have known of for some time down, and then hope for the best I have found the correct tree!
I'll deal with the others once I have with these- I know of good places for the remainder.
How are the eagle owls doing in Britain, does anybody know?
 

SlowLowFlyingTurkey

Well-known member
I will give the barn owls at Lakenheath Fen and also at Waterbeach (I've been aware for some time there is a pair right next to the station there?) a try as well.

My post was actually about Little Owls at Waterbeach station, not Barn Owls, but Barn Owls are also present in that general area and along the river.
 
G

Gleb Berloff

Guest
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...IwGnoECAIQAQ&usg=AOvVaw0h0CpOD2nx_EGw14wEN0_a

Seems one or two are hanging on in the country despite opposition and persecution from some elements of society. I wouldn't expect more details of the location to be broadcast here on BF.
So the eagle owls are being persecuted as well? thought so. I can apply a saying about those farmers and gamekeepers: once an idiot, always an idiot.
Of course I wasn't asking where they are. I don't even want to see them here- I've already found out about a nice pair much closer to my summerhouse in Spain, so will attempt to view those.
In regards to the little owls, will certainly give them a try. I saw some whilst cycling from Barway to Ely via the riverbank, barn owls.
Is the bank near the Hundred Foot River any good anymore? Saw one flying there quite a while back...
Can anybody suggest a place for tawny owls? I know one place, but really don't want to go in there, despite actuallly seeing one there once. I've heard there is one showy individual near Peterborough?
So what other owls are there? SEOs I know of, let's keep silent about LEOs...
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
If you really want to see a LEO in UK then RSPB Saltholme may be your best chance - not sure if the regular roost there is occupied this winter, but they were reliable there last year. There is a boardwalk and usually a warden on hand to point out locations and ensure people don't stray too close. Too far away for a really good photo though.

From Cambridge it's possible to travel by train but it's not straightforward - you'd have to get to Hartlepool or Middlesbrough then get a bus, I believe there's a service between the two towns which passes the reserve entrance. Maybe Serbia would be easier...
 
G

Gleb Berloff

Guest
If you really want to see a LEO in UK then RSPB Saltholme may be your best chance - not sure if the regular roost there is occupied this winter, but they were reliable there last year. There is a boardwalk and usually a warden on hand to point out locations and ensure people don't stray too close. Too far away for a really good photo though.

From Cambridge it's possible to travel by train but it's not straightforward - you'd have to get to Hartlepool or Middlesbrough then get a bus, I believe there's a service between the two towns which passes the reserve entrance. Maybe Serbia would be easier...
Thanks! But yes, it would be easier to attempt some other locations I know...
Serbia or Spain, that is. Received word of a super-site there. And if I fail, I can always count on the Dorokhovo ones to put up an appearance- although I didn't see them this year, they did rear chicks again, which was nice to see. Apparently there's a place closer to home... I'll email the RSPB directly, see what they recommend, if anything. The guys at Lakenheath know me well, so we can see...
Probably won't do any owling this weekend with a mega storm coming our way on the weekend. Even I'm not that brave to brave 80km/h gusts...
It seems the SEOs have moved on from Burwell fen. I've not seen photographs there for a long time.
Found a nice tawny owl site. Has anyone been at Burwell recently?
 

SlowLowFlyingTurkey

Well-known member
I was at Burwell Fen on Saturday and didn't see any SEOs. There was a Barn Owl at dusk and the two Little Owls showing well on the log pile near the farm.

I also went through Waterbeach and didn't see the Little Owls there this time. I hope they are still around.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
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