Posted: Saturday 1st September 2018 by Twheatear

Survey point - Llanthony Valley

Listening for creatures of the night...

This week I’ve been contributing to the BTO’s Tawny Owl Point Survey. This involves standing at a designated survey point for 20 minutes on two evenings, listening for owls. The location of females (too-whit) and males (too-whoo) lets you estimate the number of territories within earshot.

The aim is to update a survey carried out in 1989 and 2005, to assess how tawny owl populations may be changing. My two squares in the Llanthony Valley eventually produced five males and a pair calling from the GWT Strawberry Cottage Wood reserve. But even the owl-free night was a good experience, watching dusk fall over the view above and, much closer, bats dodging round my intrusion in what was clearly a regular feeding route.

The survey is open till mid-October and there are plenty of Gwent squares still to do. If you’d prefer to choose your own location then the Tawny Owl Calling Survey will begin at the end of September.

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