Sunday, 29 January 2012
Red Kite eating Barn Owl
One of the most surreal things I have ever seen. I had wondered where the resident Barn Owl had got to lately (it usually flushes out of a small patch of conifers when I walk by to check the Old Wader Scrape on my patch).
Will Bowell and I were trudging around my patch looking for redpolls late on this afternoon when I noticed the kite get up very close to the road and perch in nearby tall conifers. Through several expletives, I suggested to Will that the prey item it was carrying was a Barn Owl (judging by the wings). Sure enough, that's what it turned out to be! It had a good old feed on the carcass before being harrassed by a local Buzzard and taking off, leaving the poor owl's wings behind, hanging from the tree..!
Presumably the owl was a recent roadkill victim, and the kite was simply taking advantage of a free (yet bizarre) meal.