Another year is almost over and what a fabulous one it has been for wildlife, strengthening friendships and attempting to get some photos along the way. Not to mention adding a few miles to the clock of the car; it's taken me to Scotland and back three times!
After returning from the Highlands, I was pleased to read reports from a remote part of the Cotswolds (Gloucs) where some short-eared owls have been seen, so I didn't need much persuasion to head down there for a look. The reports were indeed correct, with as many as six in the area.
Unlike those enjoyed in Northants some years ago, these seem to be less predictable, and as yet haven't adopted any sort of pattern to either the time they appear at or the areas of the fields they prefer to hunt.
Always good, amusing company we had a good chat about things, including the 7D Mk2 and Max's attire, and grabbed a few shots of the common snipe nearby. After he left, I scanned the area hoping for something special to turn up. A merlin has been seen in the area, so I was hoping for that. I started to get the feeling though that it wouldn't be my day. Each time I put the camera down, to have a coffee, something would fly past and I'd miss it. It was cold and I thought perhaps I should head home for the day.
Very glad I didn't. Because after I'd missed a water rail scamper across the ice in the marsh, it appeared minutes later, battling with something it had caught in its beak.
Unbelievably, for such a small bird, it had caught a vole (a field vole I am told), by its hind leg.
So that brings me right up to date for 2014. All that's left to say is Happy New Year everyone, and I hope you all have a wonderful, wildlife-filled 2015. Cheers!