During the late autumn, a large number of Short-eared Owls arrived into Britain from Northern Europe. They appeared to be pushed across by unprecedented storms and probably a shortage of rodents in Scandinavia. Short-eared Owls are a regular winter visitor to our shores, but some large numbers were counted, especially in Norfolk, as they arrived along the east coast.
They have now taken up territories at various traditional wintering sites around the country, and I visited one along the Humber Bank in mid November. We had 7 birds, as well as at least 3 Hen Harrier, a distant Barn Owl and a distant Marsh Harrier during the morning. In the same fields there were small numbers of Stonechat. The owls put on a fantastic display for us, as we watched them from a lay-by pull in, standing and using the car as a semi-hide. They were not perturbed by our presence at all, even flying along the lane, right in front of us on occasions.