As the seo's were still about last weekend, I decided to keep going and try and trap one last owl. I was only able to go out on the Sunday which was a shame as the weather on Saturday looked alot better for ringing. I met Jason, Jim and Dave at the site near Sunderland at 2pm and got the usual two net lanes set. Whilst setting up two children flushed two seo of the mound so that gave us hope that the birds were still present. Only problem was it was rather breezy and sunny, not great for catching birds with good eye sight. We waited and we waited but the owls were not hunting. I had said we would pack up at 6pm however as the sun set the owls came out to play. At 6.30 an owl flew in and landed on a fence post very close to us and then continued to hunt so I said we would give it until 7pm. As we walked to the first net we flushed an owl of the mound and I thought well thats it for the night. I approached the second line of nets and noticed something dark in the middle net, thinking it was a blackbird or something I wondered over and a big pale wing rose from the deck. I couldnt believe it, a short-eared owl had found the net at the last moment. Jason had the pleasure of ringing the bird and it was soon released to join the other owl.
We have been very fortunate to ring 4 short-eared owls this winter. I hope to submit an article on owl trapping for the ringers bulletin in the near future. Thanks to the landowners for granting permission to ring on their land this winter.