Sunday, 9 January 2011

Short-eared Owls

Short-eared Owls are among our favourite birds and for several weeks we have been looking enviously at reports and photographs of them from further north in Portugal and also from back home in Staffordshire.

They are birds not seen much in the Eastern Algarve so we were delighted to find one here in Tavira on New Year's Day. It was seen quite late in the day and in pretty poor light but it was only a five-minute drive away so, not surprisingly, we have been back several times during the past week for a better look.

We have now found that there are two birds in the area and as well as seeing them hunting over the saltpans we have watched them chasing each other and tangling in mid-air, presumably each defending a feeding territory.

Photographing them has proved difficult but today we managed to get a few reasonable images and no doubt we'll be trying for better ones in the next few days if the birds stay around.

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