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Owl roost?

This is the place to discuss anything to do with birds or birding in the Outer Hebrides
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SteveC
Curracag Member
Curracag Member
Posts: 6
Joined: 15 Apr 2012, 21:31

Owl roost?

Post by SteveC » 17 Oct 2012, 15:57

I found this rather strange structure at Roisinis, Benbecula yesterday. It was on top of a rock in a slightly elevated position above the surrounding boggy ground. It seemed to be constructed of turf and stood out because of its shape and bright green colour. There were a number of owl (?) pellets around it.

I wonder if it is a very old roost site for an owl or other bird of prey where there has been a progressive build up of droppings and pellets that has provided the nitrogen to encourage healthy grass growth. I didn't want to pull it apart to investigate further and wonder if anyone else has some ideas or has come across something similar?

Thanks

Steve
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roryw
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Joined: 01 Jul 2012, 22:26

Re: Owl roost?

Post by roryw » 28 Oct 2012, 19:13

Hi Steve,

I have seen these grassy knowles on the moorland to the east of Knock Quien before (quite a few of them). The ones that I found were as you suggested, a result of nutrient enrichment from bird faeces. I spent a week watching out for birds using these perches whilst working on the moorland and witnessed gulls species using them most frequently but also saw a Golden eagle on one, with evidence suggesting the eagle using it on a more regular basis (e.g. pellets, feathers etc). I was quite fascinated by these too as they must have developed over a very long period of time. I didn't see any owl pellets around the few that I checked, but owls roosting in the same place over any length of time would surely produce the same effect.

Rory

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