45 minutes

My failed attempt at the 'Nonsuch Park' Barn Owl was not just a question on timing - I had taken up position in the wrong place! Armed with new, and correct, information (thanks Jack), I spent a wonderful 45 minutes this evening with a suite of notable birds as the light slowly died. At 19.45hrs the first Barn Owl appeared, hunting over rank grassland, oblivious to the remaining joggers. It was soon joined by another, 100m further north, that patrolled a wide swathe of oatmeal-coloured grass. After 20 minutes they joined forces but soon disappeared into the hinterland of this large park. They were accompanied throughout by the calling of at least four Tawny Owls.

When I first arrived a low-flying Hobby was hunting, but unlike my previous visit the number of insects on the wing were low, no doubt due to the chillier air. I was surprised to see a Little Egret in the dusk, heading purposefully southwards. A magical evening's birding.


Unknown said…
Hi Steve. I live not far from Nonsuch Park - it’s quite a surprise to know there are Barn Owls there. Where is the best place to look for them?
Steve Gale said…
Park in the northernmost car park along London Road (or side road to avoid being locked in), walk through car park and continue straight on along path, through open ground, under trees, then when you come to the next open area keep eyes peeled. Good luck!
Unknown said…
I spent an hour in the park this evening, from 7pm. Like you, I saw a Hobby (or two), and heard Tawny Owls, and also had a possible Little Owl as well. At around 7.40pm one of the Barn Owls showed briefly, in the area you suggested. Thanks very much for your directions. - I would never have seen it otherwise!
Steve Gale said…
My pleasure Andrew!

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