We walked from Shephards Chine to the coast guard houses. When we where walking I found some owl pellets up on the marshy landslip, they were on a mound of mud which had rabbit fur near it and a rabbit leg that had been picked clean. I put them in a bag so I could take them home.
I looked on the internet and in some of my books, they looked like short-eared owl pellets. Short-eared owls like marshy ground and my mum and dad have seen short-eared owls on Bleakdown, another friend has seen them hunting along the coast by the military road.
I soaked the bigger one in warm water and picked out all of the tiny little bones. There were tiny little pieces of corn, 1 small leg bone, rabbit fur,black whiskers and some bones, lots of rabbit teeth and some teeth in bits of jaw bone. I haven’t soaked the other owl pellet yet but I will do soon and will put the pictures on here.
Short-eared owls like hunting on coastal marshes, its long wings and light weight make it remarkably buoyant when it is hunting. You can see this owl flying low over open ground in good light and well before dusk.
Length 34-42cm, wingspan 90-105cm, lifespan 10-15 years.
Nesting unlined scrape on ground, 4-8 eggs, 1-2 broods, April-July.