Twitchers are all in a flap over an influx of owls

A long-eared owl has had twitchers in a flap.
A long-eared owl has had twitchers in a flap.
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Twitchers have been having a hoot spotting owls along the South Tyneside coastline.

The wise feathery friends have been seen by National Trust rangers in Whitburn Coastal Park, and along The Leas next to Souter Lighthouse in Coast Road.

There’s a range of wildlife to be seen in the area if people look carefully.

Mick Simpson, Ranger for the Leas and Whitburn, said

A Long Eared Owl, with its striking orange eyes, appears to have decided to stop by for a bite of eat as it migrated to the south earlier this month.

While a Little Owl was only too happy pose for ranger Dougie Holden’s camera, while sitting on a fence post.

Mick Simpson, the National Trust’s ranger for the Leas and Whitburn said: “We have a number of pairs of Little Owls breeding at various locations in the area at the moment which is great news.

“Recently we had a visit from a Long Eared Owl which was passing through as part of its migration.

“The owls which are nesting are quite hard to spot out and about as they don’t tend to leave their eggs, but you do see them flying about at night while they’re hunting.”

He added: “The Little Owls are classed as crepuscular, which means they come out an hour or so before dawn and an hour or so before dusk to hunt.

“They will eat all sorts of little creatures, like mice and frogs, but they will also pick up worms too.”

Birds aren’t the only thing which have been spotted in Whitburn recent weeks.

A weasel has been snapped running through the coastal park and a pod of dolphins has been seen numerous times off the coast at Souter.

Mr Simpson said: “There’s a range of wildlife to be seen in the area, if people look carefully.”