What was I worried about?? After Tuesday’s fiasco and Thursday’s single Hawkie my guiding today turned up a sweet THREE HAWK OWLS!!! All performed impeccably and Heath was able to give himself the early 50th birthday present he had desired J
With four Great Grey Shrikes also showing I think that will go down as a successful morning.
The first Hawkie was where I had it on Thursday and visible when we drove up. As usual it was on top of the highest spruce and doing little other than peering around. Whilst watching it I heard I call I couldn’t quite place but when I spotted a Great Grey Shrike it fell into place and was actually the song of the shrike. The shrike then obviously spotted a rodent as it flew over 100 metres and hovered before going down but coming up empty beaked and sitting in a low tree. This seemed to catch the attention of the owl and shortly afterwards he flew over 100 metres towards the shrike, hovered, plunged and very shortly flew back with a small rodent (probably a shrew). He flew into a wood so we didn’t see him having breakfast but soon afterwards he appeared back on a high spruce.
After this we took the scenic drive home with the hope of finding a Pygmy Owl but instead found two new Hawkies! One was a site which I have always fancied for Hawk Owl or GG Shrike and have driven past probably a hundred times but have only ever seen a Kestrel there so to finally see a Hawk Owl was great. Even though it was on the top of a very tall tree, the lay of the land meant we were able to watch it in great light at eye level.
|Hawk Owl #1|
|Hawk Owl #2|
|Hawk Owl #3|
|Hawk Owl #3|
|Hawk Owl #1 hunting. The lower pictures show it capturing and then taking off with the prey. The upper sequence show it flying with the prey in talons|