Monday, 8 April 2013

Little owls at Lyme Park

Driving toward Pursefield Wood a few days ago, we spotted a little owl perched on a fencepost. Its mottled brown and white plumage meant that it blended effortlessly into the trees behind it.

See if you can spot it through the binoculars..... 

Found it? Here's a close up....

The little owl eyes us warily
Since I started at Lyme Park last October, I've been lucky enough to have seen four owls: barn, tawny, short-eared, and now little. I just need to see a long-eared owl, and I'll have the full set! Let me know if you spot any by emailing

Little owl FACTFILE:
Latin name: Athene noctua
Habitat: Found in England and Wales with a few in southern Scotland. It likes lowland farmland with hedges and copses, parkland and orchards.
  • The little owl was introduced to Britain in the 19th century.
  • They hunt mostly at dawn and dusk, swooping down from a perch on to small mammals and insects. They are omnivores, occasionally eating plant material and berries.
  • In Greek mythology, the Little Owl was the messenger of Athene (note the Latin name), the goddess of wisdom.
  • Breeding Bird Survey data suggest that Little owl numbers are declining, with the UK population estimated to be down by 24 per cent between 1995 and 2008.
Further reading:


  1. Amazing picture through binoculars using a mobile.
    Did you use anything to keep the binoculars steady?
    Good to talk to you at the cage on Sunday.


  2. Hi Chris, thanks for getting in touch. Doug took this photo on his iphone, not sure if he steadied it on anything but it's worked a treat! Cheers, John