Wednesday, September 16, 2009

15th/16th September, 2009.

Fine both days with much more sun today and really pleasant.

An early post and something quite different. Man on a mission stuff for two days, albeit with no success, although none was actually expected at this time of year. I've long believed that we must have resident Long-eared Owl on Islay!! There are breeding birds on nearby Colonsay and I suspect some reported sightings of owls on Jura are of this species. Some historical references are present for Islay and there has been a couple of sightings in recent years.

Whilst associated with Wintersett Ringing Station many years ago, we monitored for Long-eared Owls locally and caught and ringed birds at a local winter roost. Not an easy species by any means and best looked for, listened for actually, in spring and later when young start giving out their squeaky calls, said to sound like an unoiled gate hinge!!!

Here on Islay there are many places where they could be, and more I've looked the more convinced I've become. So, a few more visits in winter to check on best access etc to various sites and then a more comprehensive survey next spring. Now, I'm ready for some more seawatching!!

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