Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Short-eared Owl and Nightjar

I set off this evening to do some moth trapping on Beeley Moor, it was slightly warmer than it has been and the wind appeared to have finally died down. 
On the way I thought I would check for Nightjar and, just as it was getting dark a bird flew over calling with a second bird churring in the distance. When do they migrate? I had it in mind that it was August but it is clearly later, I will have to check the dates in Birds of Derbyshire.
As I then drove across the moor I saw something flying ahead of me and thought it may be another Nightjar but, as I got closer, I saw a Short-eared Owl sat on the tarmac at the edge of the road. I grabbed the camera but as look would have it another car was coming the other way. As the car approached another owl flew in front of me. I thought the owl on the road was about to be run over but it lifted just in front of the approaching car.
I got one fuzzy record shot through the car window.
I've posted this update from my car so apologies for any errors.
I originally post this as Short-eared Owl but thinking back have corrected it to Long-eared, I don't think there is anything in the photo to help with the identification but the eyes were definitely orange not yellow. This is my first September record for Long-eared, I'm still not sure whether they are resident locally or leave the area in the winter.
Back to Short-eared following discussion with various folk, face pattern, light streaking on belly and structure/jiz
Checking in the Birds of Derbyshire August is given as the departure date for Nightjar but there is a single reference to a bird at a breeding site on 10th September, so this is a late record.
Long-eared Owl

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