I had quick mooch around the patch this morning as I found myself with a rare morning of free time during half-term week. There was a Chiffchaff on Alex Island and a small party of fourteen Fieldfares overhead and the wintering population of gulls are now starting to build up with fifty or more Common Gulls spread across the football pitches. As I reached the grassland along centre path a group of Crows were up and chasing something...and that something was only a Short-eared Owl!
Short-eared Owl has been a bit of bogey bird for me on the patch, having missed several over the years (and a couple by just a matter of minutes). The problem with Short-eared Owls on the Flats is they rarely linger, once spooked by a dog-walker, member of the public or even a birder they quickly get harassed by the Crows and usually gain height and move on quickly (the same as this bird did today) so for once I was in the right place at the right time to finally nail this much sort after patch tick.
The rest of the morning was fairly quiet and the only other thing of note was this rather smart Clouded Yellow butterfly. I've seen a couple of these southern European migrants on the Flats in the past but only as quick flashes of yellow and never on the deck, so it was good to see this one land for a few seconds before it quickly disappeared.