Tuesday, 10 May 2016


I went over to Black Hole Marsh, Seaton this morning. Soon after I arrived I caught a glimpse of a distant shape through the trees near the visitors centre and gliding towards the river. My gut feel was Short-eared Owl. I talked myself out of it though and walked over to Tower Hide to view the marsh and the river. The water level is pretty high on Black Hole Marsh at the moment and it was full tide on the river. There were a few waders about, seeing 1 Ringed Plover, a Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper.

Soon after a Barn Owl appeared, hunting low across the marsh and surrounding areas of rough grassy fields. Here's a short video clip:

Barn Owl hunting over the rough grass

Day-Hunting Barn Owl

The Barn Owl disappeared and a few minutes later a second Owl materialised in the field to the south of Tower Hide - a beautiful Short-eared Owl! Nice! I got the messages out to the local Birders and grabbed some photos. I'm being told that this was the first record for BHM this year (Steve @axebirder had one recently on Beer Head).  It spent some time flying but quite a lot of time sitting on convenient posts.

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

Later, around 8pm, I returned. The SEO had been seen again in the early evening but was not showing.The Barn Owl however, appeared again and I got these "moody" shots as it was perched on the "Black Hole Marsh" signpost and began its evening shift:

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