Monday, 11 February 2008

Owl Rescue, Foggy Swans and fabulous sunset

What a strange weekend, Owl Rescue, Foggy Swans, a new wildlife pond and fabulous sunset….read on as a fair few photo's this posting.

Saturday Morning : I was doing by usual stationary birdwatch at Sand Bay when a dog walker said to me there was an Owl trapped in the National Trust Carpark. It took about 15 minutes to walk there and a small crowd had gathered, including, a fire engine and volunteers from Secret World, Wildlife Rescue Centre. I therefore became a bystander, but did meet for the first time another birder there who also watches over Sand Bay. The following photos give a flavour of what happened.

The owl had become trapped in a kite string, and hanging precariously by it's primaries. Luckily it could cling to a branch so wasn't completely suspended in mid air. The upshot was a turntable ladder was requested from Bristol, which arrived just after the RSPCA. The following photos show what happened next as Graham a volunteer from Secret World, rescued it and as far as I'm aware apart from shock survived (the Owl I mean not Graham).

Sunday Morning : Buoyed with an aborted birdwatch in glorious weather on Saturday, and failure to get to the Exe I drove first thing to the Huntspill NNR in Somerset, to hopefully get an Avocet on the Parrett Estuary. Left home in sunshine and blue skies and arrived at the Huntspill 8.30am in dense freezing fog. It'll lift I thought so walking with my kit for a mile to the sea, I was still surprised to see no signs of any blue sky. As a dog walker said, you are a bit optimistic.

Stood for about half an hour frozen to the spot, the tide began to recede, and gave up. However all was not lost as a magical moment happened. I heard 2 Mute Swans flying, couldn't see a thing in the fog but then over my head they flew, just visible for 5 seconds maybe, about 20 feet away, then they were gone. It was eerie being on the estuary in such thick fog, just the sounds of Curlew at some distance, but that flypast made it all worth while. Walking back, saw 5 or six singing skylark, this weekend has brought them out in force.

In the evening after the dismal England game of rugby, popped down to Sand Bay and took some sunsets, so though I'd post a sunrise and a sunset from yesterday to show how different a day can be in Somerset.

So that was the highlight of the weekend. Also managed to add a small wildlife pond (below) to the existing one, as there are frogs around and I've been meaning to do it for ages. Let's see if anything happens. Main birds seen were 40+ Grey Plover, plenty of Skylarks singing, 100+ Curlew, a gloriously lit up male Bullfinch at Puxton Church, Grey Wagtail at Banwell River, Long Tailed Tit's in my garden (a 1st) and a strange Leucistic headed Cormorant (below Left) on the Levels and 3 Roe Deer (Below Right).


  1. Great pictures, all. Hope the owl survived. How big is your pond, always wanted to bang one together. Maybe this year.

  2. Hi Oldcrow, I heard yesterday the owl is doing well and should be released back to the wild very soon. A good result. The pond is tiny, maybe 4 feet square now, but does attract quite a few dragonflies in the summer even that small. Go on give it a go :-)