Desperate to find something good, we traversed the mountain-side, hopping our way through dense patches of gorse. Rich flushed an interesting lepid that turned out to be just a Small Copper. (c) Giselle Eagle
In an attempt to cheer a borderline depressed Rich up, I've turned to 'The Law of Averages' which clearly states that the scattering of scarce and rare birds on the mainland will even out and as a result we will get a chance to bask in some of its avian glory. Wikipedia has just informed me, however, that the 'law' usually reflects bad statistics or wishful thinking. My attempt therefore has failed. So if you're reading this and you are any of the species mentioned in the opening paragraph of this post, please drop in sometime (very soon).
An unprecedented influx of at least 24 Short-eared Owls was never going to please everybody. We're not alone either, with several sites across the country logging impressive numbers including 18 at Portland Bill and an amazing 50 in off the sea at Titchwell. A Scandinavian origin seems likely for a lot of these birds, so why so many? Studies have shown that, in Finland and Sweden, Short-eared Owl productivity increases significantly with increases in the abundance of Field Vole and Sibling Vole. So presumably it's been a good year for the little critters. (c) Richard Brown