Friday, 23 September 2011

A surprise owl

Friday 23rd September 2011
Light winds, cool start soon warming up, sunny and dry.

I arrived at Chambers Wall at 7am, just as the light was good enough to see a few birds. Once again I could hear the calls of Chiffchaffs and a singing Cetti's when i got out the car. I was quite hopeful because the day had a good feel to it.

I walked up the sunny side of the hedge towards the railway, and as I neared the end of the hedge I noticed many Chiffchaffs, at least 15 birds, excitedly flitting around a few bushes, calling continuously. At first I thought they were just enjoying the warmth of the sun and perhaps plenty of insect activity, but then it dawned on me, rather slowly i admit, they were mobbing something.

As I approached quite close a Little Owl flew out the hedge and landed in a Hawthorn a bit further away, chased by the small birds it had attracted.

Little Owl

It flew west along the railway embankment, and distantly I could watch it's progress by the following flock of mostly Chiffchaffs.

I walked west along the embankment, along the Green Wall to the seafront, then to Coldharbour and back to the car. On route I managed around 60 Chiffchaffs, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 1 Sedge, 3 Kestrels, 3 Little Egrets flew east, and along the Wantsum 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, presumably migrants.

Quite a nice start to the day.

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