Of course we all know that owls are birds of the night. But a few of our five regular species can be seen readily in the daylight hours, during the winter months.
Though Tawny Owls (our predominant woodland species) are almost exclusively nocturnal, and the scarce Long-eared Owl is usually only seen perched at roost in wintertime, Barn Owls, Short-eared Owls and Little Owls are often active during the day.
Little Owls are most frequently seen around their roost and nest sites, which tend to be gnarly old trees with large holes, or around farm buildings, quarries, along fence lines etc.
Barn Owls are generally crepuscular in habits, but will, if the feeding is good, often come out during the day to hunt small mammals across rough grassland and along ditches.
Perhaps the most prominently diurnal owl is the Short-eared Owl. These long-winged birds have a buoyant flight style which is a delight to watch as they quarter, harrier-style over rough ground in search of voles etc.
For most owl-watching you are best-off visiting open rough grassland, coastal marshes and wetlands a couple of hours before sunset. Sometimes Short-eared Owls will only come out to hunt when the sun is low and on occasions the window will be narrow when you can watch them before they vanish into the murk of dusk.