Celebrating the Wild Side of Yorkshire’s Coast & Country: Watch Out – there’s an Owl about!

Celebrating the Wild Side of Yorkshire’s Coast & Country:

Watch out – there’s an Owl about!

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Photographs by Paul Ardron

Out on the remarkable Ringinglow Bog last week, we were in search of sphagnum mosses, when the high-pitched calls of ‘unk-unk’, ‘wink-wink-wink’ stole away our attention. Yes, the pink-footed geese were back with about 250 birds high overhead and going south-east. When this happens you know winter is truly on its way! There will be many more geese to follow; you can be sure of that.

Short-eared owl over Ringinglow Bog by Paul Ardron 2 Soon afterwards we were treated to glorious views of a short-eared owl quartering over the bog in search of short-tailed field voles; its staple food. It looks like a few birds have moved in to the higher ground on moors and blanket bogs. Readers might recall the bird that pitched up on a North Sea oil rig recently – only to be rescued by helicopter!

Then, finally, Paul Ardron was crouched low down in the vegetation looking for rare mosses when he came face-to-face with a jack snipe. I am not sure who was the most surprised Paul or the bird; though it was the snipe which left! Jack snipe sit tight, sometimes almost until you tread on them and they fly silently and direct.

Short-eared owl over Ringinglow Bog by Paul Ardron

We also had good views of red grouse and possibly a woodcock. Then back to the bog mosses………

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