Sunday, 7 April 2013

Long-eared Owl on Anglesey

Driving to my son's birthday party-do this morning near Caernarfon I caught a glimpse of what looked like a possible dead Short eared Owl on the A55 just south of the RAF Valley turnoff, Bangor bound.It was still there on the way back so I went to check it out. It actually turned out to be this Long-eared Owl. LEO's are a presumed scarce winter visitor to the Island.I have never seen a live one on the Island but there have been 3 dead ones picked up on the A55 in the "winter" months since it was opened on the Island in 2002. The other two were in the vicinity of Malltraeth Marsh (RSPB). As they are a proper nocturnal owl and are very few in numbers perhaps it is no surprise that they are rarely recorded. There is plenty of habitat for them to hide in as there are many in-accessible marshes on the island with dense cover/hawthorn or blackthorn thickets where they can roost in the day. Compare these three dead LEO's to the 123 Barn Owls picked up dead on the A55 since 2002. It's a lot of birds, especially as the population on the island is around 30 pairs. If you do find any interesting roadkill let me know and record the mile-post so I can inform the relevant people. Thanks. ps. there was a live one on the cliffs near Amlwch port last Autumn, but generally live records are very few and far between.

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