Barn Owl. David Cookson
Oh no....not another Barn Owl pic, and the subject - including that of mortality due to the coldest December on record in 2010 - has been discussed before too. You'd think this blog would have something a little more topical/seasonal on it, maybe the forthcoming passage of summer visitors into the country....OK, some other time perhaps!
The kind of weather were not acquainted with set in at the end of last December and people began to wonder what the effect on bird populations would be. The two previous winters had also been unusually and severely cold and it was looking like small birds would be particularly hit.
I was starting to read about widespread reports of birds moving south and west, and then worse, reports of Barn Owl (BO) were being made of dead birds and by early February the total was of 56 which was actually a smaller number than those reported in total by January 2010 when the figure was at least 80 dead BO's, this month in 2010 had also been a month of severe weather.
The BO obviously finds it difficult - if not impossible - to find small-mammal prey during long periods of snow cover and recently there have been many more reports of birds hunting during daylight hours, with one individual seen in a supermarket car park.
The result of three bad winters - not least the one just about to leave us - will have left some of our BO's in poor condition, this has knock-on implications for the chances of successful breeding for these birds in the months ahead. Here's hoping things are quite as bad as they may sound.
And, talking of owls....
Northern Saw-Whet Owl. Woodmansterne Publications Ltd
It was my birthday recently - I'll soon be 50 at this rate - and my family and friends sure know the kind of cards I like to receive on such occasions....a little gem don't you reckon!
A White-winged Scoter has been reported today at Rossbeigh,Co Kerry, Ireland, apparently there on Monday and been so for a month. There's quite a lot to say about this bird but it's easier to take a look and see what's said about it on Birdforum