Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Owl etc

I set off around Stalmine Moss this morning hoping to see a Barn Owl or maybe a Little Owl now that the weather has turned a little colder. 

It didn’t take long to find a Barn Owl hunting nearby fields although the initial light was quite poor necessitating ISO1600. The owl was hunting a circuit of several hundred yards as I stayed in one spot and from the car window waited for the bird to reappear. 

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Gradually the morning light improved but not enough to go below ISO800. The owl was moving further away via the fence line and as it fence-hopped it trailed a long piece of snagged grass added on one of its many forays into the meadows. At one point the owl caught a vole when a Kestrel appeared as if from nowhere and then in mid-air tried to steal the animal from the Barn Owl. After a brief skirmish the owl flew off over the fields and down into a ditch to consume its prey as the Kestrel went off in the opposite direction. 

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

The owl drifted further away and I decided to head towards Knott End for a walk up river and along the promenade. 

The end of a rainbow lit up The Mount Hotel over at Fleetwood. I didn’t take the ferry across to check for a pot of gold but I understand that the hostelry does serve a good pint of bitter. 

Fleetwood seen from Knott End

A Peregrine was in attendance at the now defunct roll-on roll-off terminal where ferries berthed in between their journeys across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man. The tall structure is on the left of the picture where on a bright, sunny morning a Peregrine or two is visible from the Knott End side of the river. There’s lots of food for Peregrines up and down river, along the coast or without straying too far from their steel citadel which gives unrivalled views of Fleetwood’s feral pigeons and waders along the river.


There was a good amount of Peregrine food along Knott End shore with 2000+ Oystercatcher, 95 Dunlin, 80 Curlew, 35 Lapwing, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Turnstone and 5 Redshank. I didn’t count the many hundreds of gulls, mainly Black-headed Gulls and Common Gulls. 



Along the promenade/marsh grass: - 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Pied Wagtail, 8 Twite. 

The weather’s looking very changeable for the rest of the week but there’s bound to be some bird news and views via Another Bird Blog. Don’t miss out - Log in soon.

Linking today to Run-a-roundranch.


Jennifer A. Jilks said...

What a wonderful excursion! I enjoyed it thoroughly. We're -14 C. her in Ontario. I'm still hoping to find a Snowy owl, but not holding my breath!

eileeninmd said...

Awesome outing pHil! I love the Barn Owl shots. Great birds and photos. The rianbow is pretty. Have a happy day!

Chris Rohrer said...

I would have been thrilled to spot that Barn Owl! Nice photos and I especially enjoy the Redshank. The coloring of the legs is really unique. Good quality birds.

Linda said...

What a fun and worthwhile outing, Phil! Beautiful photos.

David Gascoigne said...

You know that any day that starts with a Barn Owl is going to be a great day!

Margaret Adamson said...

God number of birds seen but the shots of the Owl are wonderful

Mary Cromer said...

Oh once again, I am in awe that you see these beautiful Barn Owls like you do and the images shares are wonderful. I am thinking that several weeks ago now, when I was heading to the European Starling roosting site, that just as dawn was fast approaching one flew across the road just in front of me. It was large, lightly coloured and it was the first thing that I thought of when I saw it. It has been 35 years this Summer since we saw one in the wild, yet I know they are around. Have a beautiful day~

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil!:) How wonderful to set out hoping to see an owl, and to actually see one. Love your Barn Owl captures. I hear an owl most evenings but have never seen it.

Tanya Breese said...

great shots, love that owl!

TexWisGirl said...

a fine way to show off a fence! :)


Majestic and magical....your fence is....errrrrr, um....beautiful barn owl!!

carol l mckenna said...

Majestic shots of the Owl and fence and owl make an excellent composition! Love your photography!

Wishing you a joyful weekend ~ ^_^

Karen said...

Oh, lovely owl shots!

Ida said...

Wonderful shots of the barn owl on the fencing.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The owl is wonderful. I wish I were able to get out early enough to see one. Only once (pre-camera) we stumbled on a tree with several owls in it... I don't even know what kind ...we weren't birding really at all then. But I've never forgotten it.

Gunilla Bäck said...

I love your captures of the owl. It's a gorgeous bird.

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