Tuesday 7 February 2023

Short-eared Owl

 Cold, dry and sunny, light airs - The current dry, settled period of weather we`ve been experiencing of late is most welcome, and today was no different with unbroken sunshine and blue skies from the off. The Lydd Ranges has seen an influx of Short-eared Owls these past few days with up to five birds reported on the wing from late afternoon. Mostly they stay well out on the ranges and are best viewed from the bund that runs west from the `hill` along Galloways Road, when the Army are not firing; this afternoon the road wasn`t open until 16.30hrs, but I had distant views of a hunting owl at 15.20hrs from the guardhouse gate. Also noted from the range road, two Dartford Warblers, a Cetti`s Warbler, five Pied Wagtails, two Kestrels, three Marsh Harriers and a Raven. 

                                 Raven - a common sight over New Romney

Elsewhere across the Peninsula there has been little change since my last post with the wild swans still feeding on Walland Marsh and roosting on ARC. The boardwalk has been productive offering up superb views of Chiffchaffs, Long-tailed Tits and Goldcrest from the viewpoint, and even Cetti` s Warblers on occasions. A ringtail has been seen around NR over the weekend, while I noticed a small increase in Reed Buntings and Skylarks on my Hope Lane loop walk the other day; its reached the stage now that small passerines are in such short supply that whenever I encounter one, be it a tit, Wren or Robin, I get a frisson of excitement, how sad is that! On the plus side Ravens and Buzzards are regularly seen and heard over the town and I`m beginning to suspect that the former may even be nesting close by, judging from the activity in the local park of late.

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