Little Owl – Fort Cumberland, Hampshire

On Saturday 23rd February Martyn and I went to see Harlequins v Bristol in the Gallagher Premiership Rugby at the Stoop in Twickenham. Harlequins won 36v26 and after the game as we were walking out of the stadium I heard, but didn’t see, a Ring-necked Parakeet. This is a great area for them and I had forgotten to keep an eye out for them. I usually like to see birds (as opposed to just hearing them) even on my year list and so on the way back as Martyn was driving I kept an eye out and luckily two Parakeets flew over the road in front of us.

On the Sunday afternoon I had a workshop in the Portsmouth area and so on the way down I popped into Fort Cumberland to try and see the Little Owls which roost in the gun holes in the fort wall. I parked on the eastern side of the fort and made my way around the edge but it soon became apparent that I needed to go further around the fort and the fence and barbed wire prevented this. There was another couple and they agreed that the gun holes must be further around the wall and so they left to head back to the car to drive around to the other side.

I decided to move down onto the beach by clambering over the large sea defence boulders and I then made my way around the point and then back up onto the sea wall on the other side. I quickly found the two gun holes and sure enough there were Little Owls in each of them!  

I’d just about finished my sketches when the earlier couple re-appeared having driven around to the other side of the fort and then walked from there. They were slightly surprised to see me!

I still had a little while before my appointment and so I decided to try for the Purple Sandpipers at Southsea Castle.

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