Badger and Barn Owl

by

Nature notes by Jason Ball – 31 Jan 2010

a Barn Owl blur

Early this morning I wrapped myself up warm and walked into a chilly at dawn to put out some food out for the birds. Like yesterday it was a very frosty morning.

A male Tawny Owl was answering a female in the woods, and a Grey Partridge was calling just beyond. Further on I got a surprise… as I stood alongside a reedbed, watching out for owls, I heard something grunt.

A startled badger was on the path in front of me, looking right at me. After a moment of uncertainty, it dared to come closer. The badger sniffed the air, presumably attracted by the fragrance of food. But the badger didn’t like the smell of me, I suppose, and made a rapid about-turn and scarpered away – only to bump into a feisty friend.

This other badger – presumably a sibling – hadn’t noticed me and it immediately started wrestling the first badger – adding to its sense of panic!

I walked back home and decided to set up a camera to film a Barn Owl who was flying past the house on most mornings, soon after 7am.

Success! Only a modest video clip, but it’s recognisable, and I went out again to try and capture the owl again, but with a stronger zoom. Being only sunrise, the light levels were too low for the camera to autofocus. And with a 12x zoom, at this relatively close range, it was hard to pan fast enough for the Barn Owl, which was flying up and down the road.

What an excellent start to the day!

Barn Owl, Tawny Owl and a few more bird records from this morning.

31/01/10 Dunnock Sheepdrove Organic Farm 1 J Ball
07:45 SU358819.
31/01/10 Woodpigeon Sheepdrove Organic Farm 1 J Ball
07:45 SU358819.
31/01/10 Blackbird Sheepdrove Organic Farm 1 J Ball
07:45 m. SU358819.
31/01/10 Blue Tit Sheepdrove Organic Farm 2 J Ball
07:45 feeding. SU358819.
31/01/10 Chaffinch Sheepdrove Organic Farm 4 J Ball
07:45 2m+2f. Feeding. One of the males was mature, the other juvenile; harder to tell with the 2 females. SU358819.
31/01/10 Great Tit Sheepdrove Organic Farm 3 J Ball
07:45 on feeders. SU358819.
31/01/10 Great Spotted Woodpecker Sheepdrove Organic Farm 2 J Ball
07:45 m + unknown. 1 definite male at nut feeder. Another GS flew off but too fast to check gender. (Would 2 males tolerate a close presence at this time of year?). SU358819.
31/01/10 Rook Sheepdrove Organic Farm 70 J Ball
07:30 flying from north. SU359819.
31/01/10 Barn Owl Sheepdrove Organic Farm 1 J Ball
07:15 Perched on a post for a short while. Hunting in flight. Saw one unsuccessful dive. SU358819.
31/01/10 Great Spotted Woodpecker Sheepdrove Organic Farm 1 J Ball
06:45 m. drumming. SU359818.
31/01/10 Grey Partridge Sheepdrove Organic Farm 1 J Ball
06:40 m. calling. SU356817.
31/01/10 Tawny Owl Sheepdrove Organic Farm 2 J Ball
06:40 m+f. Both calling in the woods. SU356817.
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