As I recall from the collection of Short-eared Owls in Byron a few years back, they are most active just after dawn and just before sunset so Ted's advice makes sense.
As for the hunters on the property, it is illegal for them to be hunting there, and they are trespassing as well. So they are not hunters, but instead poachers. Apparently, Shollenberger Park in the North Bay is having a similar issue. If you witness poachers, please contact the Sheriff's department @ 925-646-2441 and report it.
Thanks, happy birding, and stay safe from the poachers.
On Jan 25, 2013, at 10:02 PM, Ted Robertson wrote:
I've talked with a few birders who have missed on the Short-eared Owls at the Martinez Land Trust area on the north side of Waterfront Rd. I saw the 3 owls again late this Friday afternoon but they were missed by others who had been looking for them earlier in the day. When I arrived at 3:30, I spotted no owls until the 1st one appeared at 4:25 PM. The second one appeared at 4:35 and I spotted the 3rd around 4:50. I entered through the middle gate and watched them from the viewing platform (there is an excavator to the left of the trail). Motorcyclists and hunters have been using the first entrance by the edge of a commercial area. Late this afternoon, 4 hunters were by the western most "pond". One of them shot a female Bufflehead. I spotted lots of kites and harriers, and a single shrike too. After 3 afterwork visits to this area this week (my office is about 2 miles away), it seems that the owls do not appear in the afternoon until about 1 hour before sunset. At 5:00 PM, one of the owls flew southeast out of the area--I left shortly after. (Beautiful sunset with the nearly full moon rising in the east).
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