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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Cattle Egret at Iken, Short-eared Owl at Shingle Street and Mabel the Tawny Owl!

We'd arranged to spend the weekend with friends in Suffolk: both are keen UFO researchers, so we had intended to spend some 'dark time' in Rendlesham Forest. In the event, Jason had to have knee surgery and Paul was struck down by prawn-induced food poisoning, so it was just Linda and me.

Despite Hurricane Albert (or whatever!) we had a fabulous time! First stop was Iken, where we eventually tracked down the returning Cattle Egret for satisfyingly close views: at times it shared a pasture with a Little Egret.

A move to Shingle Street and a couple of miles walk gave us Short-eared Owl and Stonechat, as well a lovely confiding Reed Bunting.

After a fish and chip lunch (happy anniversary!) in Melton, we drove the few miles to Ipswich, where, after a couple of false starts, we found the long-staying Tawny Owl Mabel dozing in her oak tree! Passers by were thrilled to look at our 'back-of-camera' shots, and to borrow our binoculars for a close view.

Back to Rendlesham Forest after dark: some very interesting results (particularly with Linda's infra-red camera!) which I'll post tomorrow. So: a great weekend, despite the 2.00am fire alarm at our hotel. Sadly it was pouring as we left Ipswich, so we carried on home without stopping at Needham Market for the Dipper....

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