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Kestrels clash with Short eared owls in epic battle for survival

This winter’s snows have brought extra challenges for the wildlife about us – along with some dramatic wildlife watching opportunities.

Determined not to miss out I got up in my warmest winter camouflage outfit (a snow suit with a pillow case on my head!) and headed off to a dale in Thixendale where I had heard that some short eared owls had been spotted.

It wasn’t long before I spotted two owls hunting. They would plummet to the ground and punch through the snow crust to dig out their prey.

But it turned out that I wasn’t the only watching. This cunning kestrel was waiting in the wings and I watched as it mobbed the short eared owl.

It turned out that this kestrel was a consistent thief, and I watched it ambush the owls several times over a few days – it’s survival tactics were quite impressive in this epic struggle against the elements.
Click here to read more about my encounter in this week’s Yorkshire Post .

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