Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Raptor Rapture

As the year ends it's become obvious that my raptor count is letting me down badly. At the beginning of the week I hadn't managed to see Barn, Short-eared or Tawny Owl, Hen Harrier or Goshawk in Glamorgan this year. Something had to be done. The Dowlais Barn Owls looked promising and I went looking for them on Sunday night. Unfortunately I drew a blank. I'm either going to have to go up there by 0530 a.m. or have a shot at the Mardy Lane bird. On Monday I had a bit of luck at KNNR. I managed to connect briefly with one of the Short-eared Owls present. Just as I got on to it the heavens opened and it wisely fled for cover. I decided to follow suite and in my rush to get back to the car I almost stepped on it! Up it shot in the air right in front of me. By the time I got back to the car I was absolutely drenched. Today (spot the out-of-work-birder) I went up to Mynydd Eglwysilan for the third time to try and get a Hen Harrier. On the two previous occasions I've been up there it was on beautiful, sunny, windless days. Today was windy, cloudy and spitting rain. I gloomily trudged up the hill expecting to dip again. But, only two minutes walk away from the car a beautiful male Hen Harrier appeared in front of me, it flew along the contour of the hill and then disappeared from view. Magic! The SEO and Harrier bring up the 175 for Glamorgan and 170 for East Glamorgan for 2007. Anybody got any hot tips for Goshawk and Tawny Owl??!?


Wayne said...

Well done on both those birds. I've not had them in Glamorgan this year yet.

Hardly a hot tip, but Llanwonno for goshawks. I had a big female there about three weeks ago on the trek back from the reservoir after dipping crossbills. Its hit and miss of course.

I've not seen tawny owl yet this year, but heard them in a few places. Llanwonno again and I'm sure there's a pair not far from my house. The other place I see them is Trehafod a few miles down the valley from me. I've been meaning to check and will let you know if I get a tick.

Set the alarm for 4:30am Sunday and get that Dowlais barn owl! If you miss it then move on to earby Fos-y-Fran and Cwm Bargoed. Did Geri and another bloke get them there recently?

Tim Hall said...

No sign of the well known Barn Owl 10 mins from my house this lunchtime ( but then it's usually well inside it's hole during daylight). Plenty of leaves on the tree, and no Little Owls either....