When I realised I had a missed call followed by a voicemail from Paul I realised there must be something pretty good around.
It turned out he had found a Short-eared Owl at Linford in the field that a couple of years ago hosted 5 of these beauties and 6 Barn Owls.
I've been feeling really rough lately so I didn't need much of an excuse to leave work to go and see it for myself.
Paul was just leaving as I arrived, but told me where he had last seen the bird, and that Ray Stroud was up ahead looking for it.
I walked down Swans way as far as the river, but there was no sign so I started walking back.
I could see Ray across the other side of the field, but it didn't seem as though he could find it either, but then after about an hour, all of a sudden there it was, right in the middle of the field quartering away busily. I watched this fabulous creature for about half an hour, the orange in it's wings standing out so well on such a dull day. At one point the bird was heading straight at me - surely no finer sight in birding -but saw me when it got to within 10 yards or so and veered off.
I saw it pounce on Prey 7 or 8 times but each time it came up empty clawed, so there obviously is food for him there, it's just he isn't that good at catching it.
The Kestrel is still around and I could hear Siskins on the reserve, but other than that, there wasn't really much around.