Mark Savage visited East Anglia at the end of February 2023 and has kindly provided these pictures of scarce species.
These birds are well named, they are winter visitors to the UK, always on the coast and only very occasional to Somerset. As is the nature of many birds that nest in remote areas in Scandinavia they are usually fairly confiding.
The Tree Sparrow used to breed around Claverham, North Somerset, but is now confined to arable areas mostly in Central and Eastern Britain.
Short-Eared Owl or ‘Shorties’ are scarce winter visitors to our area usually along the coastal strip. One was seen on the YACWAG Congresbury Moor Reserve many years ago and there was one more recently on our member, Roland Griffin’s conservation area.
Long-Eared Owls (can you spot the second one?) are masters of disguise. They are very rare here in North Somerset but who knows perhaps we walk past them roosting in good hedges? Said to have roosted along the Strawberry Line before it became a public path.
Thanks to Mark Savage for these splendid pictures!