Saturday, 2 February 2013

2nd February, 2013 Rodmell Levels

Early morning visit to Rodmell Levels but unable to locate the reported dark-breasted type Barn Owl which was seen yesterday. Levels exceptionally quiet no duck or geese and very few Lapwings and Thrushes:

Little Egret 6
Barn Owl 2
Marsh Harrier 1 Juv. type
Common Buzzard 1
Stonechat 1
Corn Bunting 1

We returned in the late afternoon and after an hours wait seeing 2 normal Barn Owls, the dark-breasted type Barn Owl suddenly appeared giving excellent views in the evening light, which unfortunately was too poor for photography.

dark-breasted type Barn Owl (taken by Phil Winter on the 1st)
with the rich brown chest fading onto the belly, the lack of grey
on the upper-wings and pale under-wings all suggest that this bird
is an intergrade between alba and guttata

Dark-breasted Barn Owl type taken at Rodmell Levels by
Les Bird on the 8th February, 2013

Darkish Barn Owl east sussex feb 13 d

darkish Barn Owl 2013 02 16 East Sussex Feb 2013

darkish Barn Owl b 2013 02 16 East Sussex Feb 2013

Three more pictures both taken by Michael Southcott

Whilst individuals of the Central European race, 'Dark-breasted Barn Owl' T.a. guttata have proved acceptable to BBRC and have been proven by British ringing recoveries of Continental origin, other records have failed to eliminate the possibility of intergrades (BB102:494-503). Furthermore, the appearance of dark-breasted-type Barn Owlets being fed by normal-coloured adults throws and element of doubt on the provenance of unringed guttata in Britain (BB99:210-211).