Aylmerton Nature Diary

Short-eared Owl

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Short-eared Owl, Aylmerton, 11 November 2014

The bird information services this afternoon were tracking a Common Crane as it flew along the coast. By the time it was reported flying east of Cley I decided that I’d better go and stand on the concrete pad, just west of the village, in the vague hope of seeing it fly along the Cromer Ridge – I still need it for a ‘parish tick’. I’d been there about fifteen minutes when I became aware of a large brown shape gliding down the beet field towards the houses on Church Road. Despite the half-light, I recognised it as a Long/Short-eared Owl. It followed the hedge line towards the church and was lost to view in the oaks at the back of the pond. I later saw it work it’s way up the far hedge, parallel to the main road, where I lost it again. Ten minutes later it repeated the manoeuvre but this time turned right, over the Loke and across the field opposite Running Free Farm. It was only when I got home and looked at the couple of photos I managed to get in the failing light that I could confirm the identification of Short-eared Owl – albeit to my eye, a rather dark looking bird. A completely unexpected bird and a ‘parish tick’!

Several more fuzzy shots taken in the half-light

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