Saturday, 14 June 2014

Owl Watching

With  the continuing good weather I have been out and about early mornings and evenings.It has been very warm during the day and some very heavy rain fell Tuesday causing flash flooding in Preston.I have been visiting Bowland on a regular basis to observe and photograph a recently  discovered site for barn owl.This site is located in a remote part of Bowland and the barn owls are occupying a ruined farmhouse and barn.I have enjoyed some memorable visits with the barn owl returning frequently to feed his family.He hunted mainly over nearby meadows and was very successful in capturing field voles for his growing family.I photographed the barn owl concealed by stone walls and camouflage and minimal disturbance was caused by my presence.

The tawny owl whose portrait heads this blog was discovered by my friend Paul Foster nesting at his local nature reserve.I met up with Paul early one morning and we enjoyed photographing the tawny owl perched high up in the pine forest. Later we headed for Bowland and enjoyed an excellent day in a remote valley photographing ring ouzel.We found out during the course of the day that hen harriers had returned to nest in Bowland and were not very far away from where we were.As we returned on the long walk to the cars at the end of the day we were very lucky to catch sight of the female "ringtail " harrier hunting the nearby moorland.It was wonderful to hear that the hen harrier had returned to the Lancashire Fells and we all hope the harriers are left in peace by the landowners and grouse shooting interests.

On my regular visits recently into Bowland I have seen barn owls in a few locations and also discovered the whereabouts of a couple of tawny owls.A little owl has also been seen and an image is shown above. I hope you enjoy my selection of images from what has been a very busy time watching and photographing these wonderful and enigmatic birds. I would like to thank Paul for a great day out and I am looking forward to many more.  


  1. Brilliant set of images of three of our owl species Brian. And yes, what excellent news that the Hen Harrier has made a return and is making attempts to nest once more in Bowland, and even more excellent that you had the good fortune to see the ringtail.

  2. Sounds like you have been very busy in the Bowland Fells Brian. The Barn Owls seem to be doing well in a few places at the moment after a couple of bad years.Great news on the Hen Harriers and I`ve been told the Ring Ouzel are having a better year. A bit of good news at last.An excellent set of images to round off a great day in the hills.

  3. such gorgeous photographs and captures of beautiful birds.
    how wonderful that you are finding their hang outs.

  4. Wow.... you got some perfect shots.