Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Evening Drive

This week I have been out on my usual round,that is driving the quiet lanes and back roads of Bowland.The weather has continued in a settled and warm mode with high pressure dominating.It has been a wonderful experience to drive on deserted roads and enjoy the splendid scenery and wonderful wildlife that Bowland has to offer.

I have not seen any brown hares or roe deer this week.The farmers have been very busy cutting their grass crops and the hares have nowhere to hide but I am sure they will be around on future trips.I have however had more sightings of tawny and barn owls.The barn owls have been busy hunting and taking advantage of what has been a bumper year for field voles.The field vole constitutes the major part of a barn owl's diet and this year the young owlets won't go hungry.The population of barn owls should also recover from last years decline in numbers.

I looked in on a tawny owl which has a regular roosting spot in a dilapidated barn on one of the backroads.It posed nicely for me to grab a few images before I left it in peace.A pair of curlews were enjoying the lovely evening sunshine as I drove out of Slaidburn and they also posed nicely for the camera on a stone wall.My final encounter of the evening was another splendid barn owl again posing on a moorland wall and on it's way back with a vole to it's waiting family.  I have also shown a  kestrel hunting and hovering over Longridge Fell as I set out on my evening drive. Thanks for looking in and hope you enjoy my selection of images from a super evening in Bowland.

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.