Saturday, 13 March 2010
This week has seen an improvement in the weather and it looks as if Spring may finally be on the way. The fine and dry weather tempted me out and I had an interesting week observing and photographing owls.
My first port of call was to the barn owl I had been observing over the last three weeks. As there was now more daylight the barn owl wasn't appearing until around 5 pm and then it only showed briefly before flying off to hunt away from it's roosting site. I was joined on one of my visits by Jonathan Latimer, an award winning local wildlife artist and illustrator. Jonathan's bird paintings have achieved International recognition and his work can be seen by visiting his website at www.jonathanlatimer.com
Later in the week I teamed up with Paul Foster and we headed up into the wilds of the Forest of Bowland to search for Short Eared Owls returning to their breeding haunts on the wild and lonely moors of this very beautiful part of Lancashire. We had an excellent afternoon in glorious weather and we were fortunate to see three species of owl. The first sighting was of a little owl enjoying the warm spring sunshine on the window ledge of a remote barn. Further on on our trek across the very rough and boggy moorland we came across a tawny owl also enjoying the sunshine as he sat in the window of a deserted and derelict farmhouse. It was a long time since I had seen a tawny owl and I welcomed the opportunity to photograph this elusive owl.
Eventually we arrived at a spot where we could observe a large swathe of moorland and we settled down to await the arrival of the short eared owl. It was a wonderful sunny afternoon and we enjoyed the peace and quiet of this remote part of Bowland . Whilst awaiting the owls we enjoyed brief and fleeting views of a fox as he made his way through the grasses and rushes looking for rabbits. Eventually the short eared owls turned up and we had some wonderful views as they flew and hunted over their moorland home. It had been a super afternoon ...thanks Paul. ..I enjoyed your company and I am sure we will soon return to these wild moorlands of Bowland. I have attached some images from the week and hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did taking them and hope to post more soon