Sunday, 15 February 2009

Long-Eared Owls

After Saturday's adventure, Sunday was supposed to be a rest day, and started as such, with me finishing off the remaining SEO pics. After a spot of brekkie, I opted to head to Upton Warren, hoping to see the bittern. It had been sighted on the North Moors already. Arriving at the car park, I tried my best to run over Pam and Emma, but alas missed ;-) and parked up next to them for a natter. They were leaving, heading for a Maccies, after a pretty eventless visit. They were going to try their luck on the Flashes after.

I tried my luck in the car park hide, but aside from a lone male shoveler, there was nowt about. So when my phone buzzed, I hoped it was Wode, asking if I wanted a beer. It wasn't. It was something else...

It was Kay, and she had news of a pair of long-eared owls over in Walsall. Did I want to see them? Does the Pope poop in the woods? Err.. well, I did want to see them, and after a short conversation, I was blasting up the M6, praying they'd still be there.

Another call later, to confirm where I was supposed to go, and I was amongst a small party of birders, all admiring the two owls, perched in the trees on the canalside. One couldn't really be seen, as it had the light behind it, but the other, busy preening when I arrived, could be seen in its wonderful colours, albeit somewhat shaded in the tree.

The people there helpfully advised me where I could stand to get a clear view, and I'd soon filled a card on this wonderful bird. The slight breeze along the canal caught its tufts, and they really stood up on the bird's head. The one silhouetted by the light, alas decided it didn't like the attention, and burst out of the back of the trees, not to be seen again. Apparently there had been four of them! Imagine that sight. But the remaining one was enough entertainment for me, and I carried on clicking until the light had faded too much, and I had to head home.

What a weekend though. Two days, three species of owls. Fantastic.


Jo said...

Amazing shots there Pete. So very jealous!

Kay said...

They were incredible weren't they? More than makes up for the dip at Park Hall seeing them so the pics.

Chris said...

Great shot. I've been watching 3near my home all winter but I've never even got a view of them as good as this.