A 'Manta-Ray' Flying Creature In The Lake District?

Spookdaddy

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Would they not be roosting, though? The starlings, I mean, not the manta rays.

Generally, at night, yes. But I'm not sure they'd necessarily sit still if there was a local threat - like I said, hunting owls, or even peregrines.
 

Krepostnoi

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Generally, at night, yes. But I'm not sure they'd necessarily sit still if there was a local threat - like I said, hunting owls, or even peregrines.
Are there any owls in the UK that hunt other birds? And surely if ever a predator was going to hunt during daylight hours, it would be a peregrine.

The following clip features both peregrines and starlings, and I find it hypnotic. Interestingly, I can hear the starlings passing over, and I can also make out manta ray silhouettes...

 

Spookdaddy

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Although not their main prey, owls will take birds. (I've found bird skulls in owl pellets). And evidence that smaller birds see owls as a physical threat can be seen in 'mobbing' behaviour - where they will gang up and harrass a roosting owl in order to drive it from the vicinity. I actually see a lot of this on my own road - where we seem to have a surfeit of tawny owls.

And yes, you would assume a peregrines preference would be to hunt in daylight hours - but apparently they do also hunt at night. It's also worth pointing out that birds defensive behaviour does not necessarily kick in only when a predator is actively hunting - the mere presence of the latter can inspire evasive action.
 

Krepostnoi

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Although not their main prey, owls will take birds. (I've found bird skulls in owl pellets). And evidence that smaller birds see owls as a physical threat can be seen in 'mobbing' behaviour - where they will gang up and harrass a roosting owl in order to drive it from the vicinity. I actually see a lot of this on my own road - where we seem to have a surfeit of tawny owls.

And yes, you would assume a peregrines preference would be to hunt in daylight hours - but apparently they do also hunt at night. It's also worth pointing out that birds defensive behaviour does not necessarily kick in only when a predator is actively hunting - the mere presence of the latter can inspire evasive action.
Ok, I withdraw my objections :truce: As for peregrines hunting at night - every day's a school day. :)
 

Spookdaddy

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Ok, I withdraw my objections :truce: As for peregrines hunting at night - every day's a school day. :)

Yes, I wasn't totally sure about that myself - I had a vague recollection of being told it happened, and a quick online search suggests that it is now accepted that such behaviour does sometimes occur.

I've seen sparrowhawks flying around in darkness, but can find no evidence that they actually hunt, so maybe they were just mooching about looking for a roost, or had been disturbed. (Sparrowhawks often hunt in confined spaces, and rely on maneuverability and spatial awareness - maybe night hunting is hazardous for them.)
 
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