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Rob R

You know you're doing the right thing when you see...

This little chap whilst out moving the cows, completely unharmed by the large grazing herbivores towering above...

...and then later see a Little Owl perched on the electric pole while you have your tea (but the dog scared it away before I had chance to photograph it).

short tail Very Happy

is the little owl the one who forgot to let go before flying ?
Rob R


we should pretend we never saw that Laughing

He/she was only little. Embarassed

Owl snack Very Happy
Mrs R

i guess that is why we have plenty of owls - plenty of vole territory! Amazingly the cattle didn't harm the voles' nest at all, even though they graze each patch intensively....I think that says something?

That's lovely. Smile I'm relieved it's not just me that gets a rush of pleasure when seeing something like this.

Little Owls are lovely things aren't they Those in my avatar are the parents of three chicks, they were all being ringed and were not pleased!

We have a young tawny owl that lives just up the drive and looks most affronted when he has to fly to get out of the way when we drive up. It's a small bit of woodland that his family share it with a barn owl. He only hunts there and roosts in a barn nearby. Territories perhaps don't apply to different species of owl.

How small things in the grass survive is something I've wondered about (and my seven year old nephew asked yesterday), do grazing creatures tend to see and avoid the small things in the grass? They tend to move slowly across a field (when they aren't charging around and messing about.) We actually have a larks nest in one of our fields. Smile Sheep tend to move across a field on tracks. Do cattle do similar?
Rob R

They do but our grazing system means they are pretty heavily concentrated, however we've also been moving them on & leaving a bit more length so they're generally above vole height. Providing the ground isn't too hard I'm pretty sure a voles nest could withstand the odd hoof, but exposing them too much and they'll be easy pickings for predators. Of course the flip side is that they can easily see predators, too. With the sense of smell of cattle & vocalisation of voles I am pretty sure they know where eachother are.

Compared to our neighbour's fields with their carpet of grass I am pretty sure that grassfed beef supports many more thousands of voles than conventional. Smile The owls are great - we heard them a lot last year but to have one perch out front of our living room window and sit there for a good while was just wonderful.

As for the vole, we both froze when we saw eachother, then after a few seconds I remembered about my phone and slowly yet quickly tried to open the camera. Couldn't believe it when it let me take the close up.

ahh Laughing
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