Barn Owl, Bats, Lapwing, Merlin, Raven, Woodcock – Nature Watch 19/4 (1130)

Although they have been in leaf for some time, I saw my first lesser celandine in flower on February 7, alongside the River Severn in Shropshire. Since then, especially with the recent very mild conditions, they are everywhere.

A visit to the Severn at Hampton Loade included the very vocal ravens, with birds displaying. In addition, several kingfisher sightings.

Parked at the Premier Inn in Oswestry at late dusk, a woodcock flew overhead in the direction  of Whittington.

The lapwings in the Shotatton Crossroads area, just off the A5 are still there. Several sightings, including a flock of c.400 birds which is the largest seen so far this winter. The flocks are getting larger and it won’t be long now till the birds disperse to their breeding grounds.

They have been quite active of late, including birds in flight during darkness, as they crossed the A5 from one field to another, no doubt spooked by something.

Just the one kestrel, hovering alongside the A5 near Shrewsbury. Just outside Telford though, on the way to work I spotted a merlin in flight.

Then, on the way back home, pulling off The New Saints FC’s car park in the dark I saw a barn owl in flight. Although tawny owls are common in the area, that’s the first barn owl seen.

I saw my first bats of the year on February 21, a Daubenton’s and one not identified but probably a brown long-eared.

The video in this blog entry was taken at Hampton Loade, alongside the River Severn. There are river images, catkins, lesser celandine and the Severn Valley Railway.