Monday, 14 June 2010
An Evening To Remember
Twelve months ago I had visited a site on the moors above Burnley to observe and photograph Long Eared Owls. This owl is notoriously difficult to photograph as it very much a nocturnal creature and is rarely seen out and about when conditions are favourable for photography. I did have views of the owl last year but it was always distant and usually in poor light. Last week I again visited the location with Mike and Paul. Paul Foster had recently been having excellent views of the LEO's as they hunted the moors in good light and had obtained some lovely images of both the male and female.
We met up around seven on a bright and fresh evening and the layers went on as it was cool up on the moors. The owls had been successful in rearing young in a nearby conifer wood and were being kept busy obtaining food for the hungry youngsters. It wasn't long before we saw the first owl as it came up on the moor to hunt and for the next couple of hours or so we were treated to some wonderful views as the owls went about their hunting duties. I managed to obtain some quite decent images of the action and some of them are shown above.
The Long Eared Owls were not all we saw on this memorable evening and just as we were thinking of leaving a Roebuck appeared and gave us more photographic opportunities. Finally as we returned to the cars we saw a couple of fallow deer at the roadside and we again took advantage of another excellent bit of luck. These fallow deer did look a little out of place up on the moors and we came to the conclusion that they may have escaped from a local collection as they were fairly tame and allowed a close approach. It was still light as we left for home after what had indeed been a wonderful evening's wildlife watching up in the Lancashire Pennines. I have posted some action shots of the hunting owls and the surprise roe and fallow deer.