The long and the short of it

Stunning Short-eared Owl on the Isle of May

Stunning Short-eared Owl on the Isle of May

Captured in flight (Alan Lauder)

Captured in flight (Alan Lauder)

Friday 13th November comments: During the autumn month’s small numbers of Short-eared Owl’s head into the UK from Scandinavia to escape the harsh winters of northern Europe. However it appears to have been a bumper year this year possibly linked with a good vole season (Owls will produce more young when vole populations are high).

Since mid-September the Isle of May has had several birds seen daily and more unusual, have been very vocal and presumably establishing winter territories. With plenty of mice available on the island it’s no surprise we have birds lingering but it has been the number which has been impressive with counts of 10 on four dates peaking at an impressive 14 at roost on 11th November.

In complete contrast we’ve only had one Long-eared Owl noted on 9th November…a poor showing in comparison. The Isle of May never ceases to impress…

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