Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Friday, 12 March 2010


Today at work, one of the blokes who lives near me passed on some wholly unexpected news - a Barn Owl was down the lane at almost the exact same place that the pair of Little Owls reside. Apart from the Little Owls, I have seen Tawny down there before but never a Barn Owl. In fact whilst Barn Owls have increased pretty heathily in VC55 over the last decade or so, I have yet to see one to the south or west of the city.

I got the news just before lunch so headed out to look for myself. I immediately located it, exactly as described ....

Showing, but not well

Barn Owls are such graceful and superb birds to watch, it makes seeing one in this state all the more saddening.

From the position and posture of the corpse, it seems almost certain that it has collided with either the barbed wire loosely wrapped around the fence or perhaps the electrified single-wire running about 1m behind to keep cattle in during the summer (though whether it is live at the moment I wouldn't know). The bird is unringed, and I can't be sure but I suspect it is a male as the underparts are a very clean white with few dark flecks. I have picked it up and brought it home with the intention of sending it to the PBMS.

Evening visits to the lane over the next week or so will hopefully identify whether this unfortunate individual was a recent solo arrival to the area, or part of a pair.

1 comment:

Paul Riddle said...

A sad moment indeed, over the last 18 months or so I too have been keeping a close watch on this area whilst watching the local little owls. During this time I have never observed the barnie, what a shame we never got to enjoy and watch this new arrival to the area!