Short-eared Owls Asio flammeus have wintered on the Berkshire Downs for at least 19 years (Reading Ornithological Club reports). Every winter they are present in the area around their favoured roosting site. The numbers fluctuate, but the annual maximum in recent years has been about ten. During the winters of 1969/70 and 1970/71 I and others collected pellets from beneath the junipers Juniperus com

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