Short eared owl. (Asseus flammeus)
Short eared owls in the Uk are a mobile species. They tend to breed in the ummer in the north , especially the islands off western Scotland then sometimes move south in winter to avoid the harsher weather in the north. In some years there can be an influx of larger numbers of this wonderful bird, usually coinciding with hard winters in northern europe and good vole populations in England and wales. Finding th elocations of these overwintering populations is not always easy and the locations can vary year on year. The winter of 2011 / 2012 saw large numbers of Short eared owls overwinter in the Uk. I was lucky enough to find a quiet spot in Oxfordshire where the Owls spent the winter feeding on voles . The winter of 2012 / 2013 was very different. The previous years feeding grounds flooded however with a bit of luck I stumbled across a new spot on higher ground to photograph these charismatic birds.
In the winter of 2014 / 2015 and in subsequent years up to 2018 the birds again seem to be favouring higher ground but having found another location in Gloucestershire I have been able to get some different images , my favourites being the high exposure high ISO shots on misty days.
Short eared owl V Kestrel
Surprise attack! A Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) snatches a vole from the talons of a surprised short eared owl (Asio flammeus)