Tuesday, 20 October 2015


Enjoying the afternoon sunshine over Rewsalls Marshes was this short-eared owl on Tuesday 20th. It performed well towards the end of the afternoon, hunting low over the long grass fields and at times climbing up into the air.

Sean Nixon and I both had our cameras clicking away as the owl flew back and forwards over the fields. At times it's slow deep wing-beats seemed a very territorial display flight. It even mobbed a kestrel as it flew past as well as having a go at a common buzzard.

The short-eared owl was discovered whilst searching for the great grey shrike which had been watched for only an hour just a short while earlier, as it sat on wires over fields to the east of Rewsalls farm. The shrike had been found at about 3pm by Darrell Stile who had gone looking for the rose-coloured starling. The great grey shrike seemed to spend most of the time on the wires although it was seen to catch one or two insects in that time.

There have been several great grey shrikes on the Island over the years although they still remain very rare visitors here and never staying very long either. The only other one seen in this particular area was briefly on the Rewsalls Marshes on 8th October 1998.

There were two common buzzards over the Rewsalls marshes, this bird perched overlooking a pheasant release pen. This bird was calling out when the other buzzard was in flight nearby.
A sparrowhawk was also seen in the afternoon while a marsh harrier passing over the Coopers Beach area, was seen by Andrew and Thelma Thompson late morning.

Four lesser redpolls were feeding with some goldfinches and chaffinches along a hedge near the Youth Camp entrance, this bird feeding on willowherb seeds.
Also seen were 2 green sandpipers, 4 swallows, 2 little egrets, 4 corn buntings, 5 mistle thrushes, 200+ golden plover and 100+ lapwing while a grey wagtail was heard calling in flight.
A Cetti's warbler was heard singing by Andy Field from a field hedge to the east of Rewsalls Farm.

The juvenile rose-coloured starling was showing well during Tuesday morning but seemed to move away from the churchyard / Coopers Beach entrance in the afternoon. Alan Reynolds took this photo of the bird in flight during his visit on Tuesday.

At the country park, 8 brambling, 4 siskin, lesser redpoll passed over the park on Tuesday morning. Also noted were a blackcap, 2 chiffchaffs, 2 redwings, 20 blackbirds and 3 song thrushes.
At the Point a wheatear was seen by Martin Cock and Andrew Tilsley, also 20 fieldfares near Bromans Farm and redpoll and blackcap noted too.

At the end of the day a male tawny owl was calling from Firs Chase mid evening on Tuesday but couldn't be seen despite looking.

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