Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Bonkers Barn Owl & Cool Coot

Interesting couple of non-birding days.  Firstly involving a Coot, and secondly a Barn Owl.

Over the weekend I found a colour-ringed Coot on the Great Lake at Castle Howard, it was standing on the far bank which allowed me the opportunity to see its legs properly, and hence get the colour-ring combination read. This was hot on the heals of finding a colour-ringed Waxwing from Wales (details here).

I knew Natural England had colour-ringed a few Coot so that was my first try. A quick reply from Craig and it turns out that it was ringed as an adult at Bank Island, Wheldrake Ings on 28th August 2012 and this was the first re-sighting of the bird (2nd February 2013 at Castle Howard Great Lake).

Looked a bit like this...

This equates to a movement of approximately 16 miles in approximately 157 days. See map below:

View Coot Movement in a larger map

Interestingly, this movement is similar as that of 3 Tufted Duck ducklings also ringed in August 2012 that made the movement from Wheldrake Ings to Castle Howard in the late Autumn. It will be interesting to see where these colour-ringed birds pop up - keep your eyes peeled at Tophill Low...

Bonkers Barn Owl you're wondering.... well, on Monday as I was walking the dogs I saw a Barn Owl - nothing different there, however this one came over a Holly hedge and hovered 1ft above my head looking me in the eye! It then hovered over the dogs, who didn't notice it, before it flew away! I've had some close encounters with Barn Owls in the area (mainly when in a hide), and this one regularly comes within 6-10ft of me when hunting, but this was new!

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