Scops owl in Durham?

Taking the dogs out for their evening walk tonight, we heard a call that's completely new. After researching on the internet, it is totally identical to the scops owl, which unfortunately shouldn't be anywhere near here! Has anyone else been aware of them in this area? I guess it may just be an escape, but would be nice to think it was a bit lost on its travels. We're in good owl country here with tawny, barn, long eared and little owls locally, and short eared just a bit further up the valley. I don't have anything to get a recording on, but this recording is identical Thanks for any thoughts!
  • Hi Sara

    Its could an escapee but i would hazard a guess at it being a Little Owl, listen to one using the link below and see what you think?

    Regards Shane


    My Photos in Flickr.

  • In reply to Shane:

    A Scops Owl was 'found' Old Ryhope Dene on 27th September and seen daily over the following week. Apparently local people say it's been present at least three weeks. Make me wonder whether this is Sara's bird.

  • In reply to Ian Forrest:

    Photos on Surfbirds


    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • In reply to seymouraves:

    I think its actually not likely at all to be the same bird from the description given.

    SEO do not breed in lowland Durham and are coastal passage migrants and occasionally winter at Ryhope. LEO do breed near, but all are hard to see in this area. This included Tawny, and Little.

    As it so happens, if you get this forum post, Sara, would you be willing to send me an email to: which is the official Durham Bird Club county recorder email address. As it would be interesting to know where you heard the bird if you are not happy to share here where it is.


  • In reply to Andrew K:

    Hm! I was more thinking along the lines that birds tend to fly around. This bird may have been elsewhere in County Durham in April and later relocated to Ryhope Dene. Perhaps a little more likely than two Scops Owl in the County - though anything is possible.