Saturday, June 11, 2011

I spy with my little eye something beginning with 'Little....'

Home, Yorkshire
Well, as the above image shows, I'm at home and not in Kilcoole, so the 'Little something' I spotted with my little eye ain't no Little Tern if that's what you expected.
It was something I've never ever seen before and didn't even know what it was when I first saw it.
It was about 8.30pm this evening and everyone else was out so I was wondering around outside, listening to Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Bullfinches and Song Thrushes when I spotted something perched on one of the fence posts.

Spotted this and had that excitement of having no idea what bird I was looking at.

What an amazing looking little bird, no tail feathers, stumpy and round, a juvenile owl?

Completely unbothered by my slow approach

Then it fixed me with a glare, so I stood still, then when it looked away again I continued slowly edging closer


And a bit closer


and the round ball of feathers with massive claws and killer hooked beak was just not phased at all. A Magpie tried to mob it, but failed miserably. This stumpy thing was one cool customer.

I looked in Collins and found it was a Little Owl!! Look at it's eyes! look at it's claws!! Very exciting first sighting tonight. Mum had said she'd seen something the other day, which from a distance she thought was either a Song Thrush or a baby owl. Well, despite it's size, this is an adult Little Owl. These owls live in the UK but not in Ireland and they are often seen in daylight perched out in the open like this one. Collins states there's 5,000-10,000 pairs in the UK.

Not entirely sure how it's supposed to hunt if it just stares off into space all the time.
Unfortunately I lost sight of the Little Owl as I edged round some trees, by the time I crept round the other side the Little Owl had disappeared in the same way it had appeared. I'd love to see it again.

2 Redkites circling in the wind

Redkite, Yorkshire

Juvenile Common Buzzard?

The lack if dark tail edge would suggest it's a juvenile, but the feathers look very worn
It was very windy today and freezing considering it's nearly mid june. I had three layers on and it was still cold with the wind. Anyway, at least it didn't rain, hailstone, thunder and lightening like it did yesterday in Drimnagh!