Sunday 24 January 2016

Owls In The Mist.

With Pen out Saturday afternoon I had planned a trip to The Burgh where the forecast all week was very promising for the day, that was until the day before when it changed to being cloudy all day. Undeterred the drive over saw the clouds building and the downland was covered with mist. On arrival at the Burgh it was obvious Pete and I would be lucky to see anything so it was a bit of a relief when a Red Kite was seen quite close. It was great though being in such a fabulous area with plenty of small birds about and the sound of Grey Partridge calling. 
Eventually the camera came out of the bag when a Wood Mouse appeared in front of us, although it didn't appear to be too healthy and has almost certainly now been eaten by one of the many raptors that are found in the area.

Wood Mouse.

Eventually the mist started to lift a little, although it remained cloudy with no real sign of brightness but the larger raptors did start taking to the air with more Red Kites and Buzzards seen. It was whilst we were watching one of the Kites that I spotted a Short-eared Owl sitting on a fence post quite near to us. This made the trip more worthwhile as it is always good watching these beautiful birds hunting, which it was doing for the next hour or so. Although it didn't come close enough for decent photos it was great seeing it have the odd tussle with the local Kestrel. It dived down several times but it wasn't clear it caught anything.

Short-eared Owl spotted on the fencepost.

Short-eared Owl.

Eventually with the light fading we decided to head for home, but just as we were leaving the area I spotted a Barn Owl hunting in some rough pasture nearby. It then started heading our way where it flew past quite close. The light by this time was really poor so it was a relief to find that I had one acceptable image of this stunning bird.

Barn Owl.