Friday, 16 November 2018

Sandwich Bay Shorties

A couple of visits to the Royal Cinque Ports golf course in Sandwich over the past week proved fruitful with up to 3 Short-eared Owls seen hunting out over the dunes that make up this splendid links course. To say they have at times put on a show is a bit of an understatement with the added bonus of luckily being in the right place at the right time on more than one occasion enabling me to get quite a few images as the hunting birds have passed me by, sometimes within just a few metres . My first visit (12th) was in poor light but I spotted an Owl sitting on a fence post by the gun club along the Ancient Highway. The bird sat there for a good five minutes, not flinching as the odd car passed, eventually flying off to continue hunting but not before I was able to get my images.

Although the light was fairly dull, I was able to get the bird in flight as it quartered a piece of rough ground alongside the golf course.

With the recent wet weather slowing up my work schedule, (if it gets much slower I will be retired lol) I was able to return to Sandwich on the following two afternoons, (13th and 14th) where the light was a lot better. We were treated to some close flyby's at times and probably my best session's yet with this species. (It does help when the sun is shinning) The Owl's were seen at various points along the golf course and by sitting low down on the bridleway that runs from the Chequer's down to the 18th hole, unseen by our quarry, a few of us were treated to some extremely close views of these wonderful creatures hunting over the undulating grassy terrain that goes to make up a links golf course.

On the afternoon of the 12th, I saw two Short-eared Owls in a tussle with a Crow and a Ring-tailed Harrier over in the direction of the scrape at Restharrow, the Ring-tail being a nice sighting although too far away in the dull early evening light to get any usable images. A few more images of the Short-eared Owls.

Short-eared Owls hunting, hovering, flying by within 10 metres and perched up on fence post's, it does not get better than that, especially under a late Autumn setting sun. I cannot think of a better wildlife sight than a Short-eared Owl sitting on top of a fence post. 

Thanks for looking.