Sunday, 23 January 2011

Whixall Moss - Shortie

By mid afternoon, with a few more year ticks in the bag, I decided to 'chance' Whixall Moss for the Short-eared Owl. I was checking the Swans at Cound (Four Whooper Swans) present today) when RV stopped briefly and reckoned that was such a good idea - he's join me!

Just as well we did! After 30 mintes or so of waiting, we had a very obliging Short-eared Owl quartering the moss....

Always an exciting moment as it turned and flew in our general direction!

Passing not much more than 50m away!

It briefly perched.....

Then flew to the Moss Cottages end of the Moss, always in view but always (sadly) distant!

As if that wasn't enougth excitement, as it approached the perimeter trees, another raptor flew down as if to mob/warn it off. The initial impression was 'another Owl'!? But then it dawned on us, this bird was grey with black wing tips - male Hen Harrier!! The light had really 'gone' by now but a great bird for Shropshire!