Wow, what a great sighting and how spectacular to watch. It certainly would make sense that if the surrounding fields are flooded they would be short of their usual prey. I'm only an amateur bird watcher so have no knowledge in this area but really appreciate hearing your experience.
This would be extremely unusual behaviour for Tawny Owls in a number of different ways - potentially completely unprecedented.
Is there any possibility that they could have been Short-eared Owls?
Hi Roy, it is a great shame that we didn't have a camera, it would have made for a terrific show. Now you mention it, the Owls did have bright yellow eyes that showed up beautifully in the sun. So your expertise may have paid off! It is extremely likely that they were short eared owls now that I have looked at some pictures, apologies for the mis-identification, indicative of our amateur status!