Thursday, 22 December 2011

Heyshott work party and Short-eared Owls

Yesterday morning I joined other Butterfly Conservation members for the last work party of the year at Heyshott  Escarpment. We outnumbered Murray Downland Trust members  for the first time. Cleared woodland was joined to the chalk pits higher up where large numbers of Duke of Burgundy butterflies have been counted. Hopefully the Primulas will show themselves next spring and entice the Dukes into new territory and encourage a population explosion.
Afterwards I visited Waltham Brooks and observed two Short-eared Owls hunting. I managed to get within 100 yards of one in flight and 50 yards from one on the ground. Still not the close views I want so I will have to continue visiting this lovely reserve. The sunset was outstanding.

James working hard
Mark (James' Dad) 
Neil and Roger in foreground
Neil pointing to the gap joining with the chalk pits
John is tireless
Billy and James
Neil tossing the caber
Dr Dan Hoare, BC Regional Officer, SE England
7 weeks work has cleared a huge area for the Duke of Burgundy to expand
looking the other way

This area may eventually host the Dukes

Short-eared Owls at Waltham Brooks
Short-eared Owl roosting
Two owls

What has it seen?
Casual close sighting by the car park - I walked some way for distant sightings!


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