Saturday, 19 June 2010

Better Than Watching Football

This last week my birdwatching and photography trips have been to a site in the Lancashire Pennines where I have been fortunate to observe and photograph Long Eared Owls. This species of owl is very elusive and easily disturbed so a careful approach was needed and Mike and I made good use of the moorland walls to hide behind to observe the comings and goings of the owls.
Our first trip with Paul Foster was wonderful with fabulous sightings of the birds hunting the moorland and catching voles to feed their chicks which were waiting in a nearby forest. Subsequent visits were poor with only fleeting and distant views of the adult birds and again brief views of the young owls. Our third visit coincided with England's World Cup match against Algeria. We found the area and the moorland roads very quiet and it was a lovely bright sunny but very cool evening. We waited and watched for around three hours but the performance of the owls was on a par with that of the England Team and we only had a brief view of a distant hunting adult bird. The youngsters could be heard in the forest continually calling with their " squeaky gate " call  but neither of the parents returned with food whilst we were there.
After three hours of waiting Mike and I decided to call it a night and return home as it had become decidedly chilly and we needed the ride home to warm up again. We eventually were to learn of England's poor performance in their crucial World Cup game and we both agreed that what we had experienced this last week or so was definitely much better than watching football. As usual I have posted a few more images from the week showing Mike on telescope duty,my optics at the ready trained on the area where the youngsters were waiting, and finally more images from our first visit when the owls were on top form. Let's hope England can also be on top form in their final group game,otherwise they are on the way home !!!


  1. Another amazing experience for you Brian and thanks for sharing it - along with your equally amazing photographs- with us on your blog. Another of our stunning birds always there to be seen if you're prepared to give the time needed for them to be found.

  2. Anything is better than watching football at the moment. Great images by the way

  3. Stunning photos.
    We won today! Hope your next trip is as successful.