Celebrating the Wild Side of Yorkshire’s Coast & Country:
Watch out – there’s an Owl about!
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.
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.
We also had good views of red grouse and possibly a woodcock. Then back to the bog mosses………