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Monday, 23 March 2020

Just me and the Owls at Strumpshaw Fen!

Well nearly! I left home at 5.00 am to have another look at the triple conjunction (photos later!) and thought I'd carry on to Strumpshaw for a dawn Owl safari!

It was a beautiful, crisp morning: as the Sun rose behind the woodland, Marsh Harriers began to leave their roosts. I reckon I saw at least a dozen, but it was hard to be certain - some may have doubled back! Lots of Cetti's Warblers on the reserve, including a very visible individual by the sluice, as well as Water Rails, Chiffchaffs and Water Deer. The 'well nearly' at the start is there because I bumped into ex-pupil, now friend Tina along the Sandy Path. She was waiting for her birding chum Rod. We chatted for a while (separated by five metres of fresh air!) Tina assured me that the Barn Owls were usually to be seen at 7.00, so I said goodbye and walked on to the Pumphouse. A brief wait provided me with excellent, prolonged views of a hunting bird: super stuff!

Leaving the reserve at 8.00 (before anyone else arrived!) I stopped at the Little Owl tree. Some moron has strewn broken glass across the entire layby (I wonder who!?) so, taking advantage of the absence of any traffic) I stopped on the road. To my delight I immediately noticed a Little Owl on one of the dead trees: the first I've seen here this year...

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