A h-owl-ing success

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Barn owl hunting, Hayton

Our birding experiences just get better and better!  After a smashing night on Saturday with a film and bottle of wine, we decided to visit an old destination where we went quite frequently during the summer.  We went to Hayton to have a go at getting a better view of the owls we’d caught sight of  before, hopefully to get some pictures for our blog.

We arrived there about 2.45p.m., parked the car up and set off on foot down Chainbridge Lane.  Alison said she heard skylarks.  Me:  “what skylarks!” (must be my age).  Anyway, about 800 yards down the lane we met two stationary cars with blokes with their tripods, binoculars and telescopes.  I asked if they’d seen the short eared owls.  They had, and pointed out to us where they were, sitting in a bush.  Two of them.

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Short eared owl, Hayton

They were quite a distance away but we were able to spot them.  Our little camera was nothing compared to the equipment these guys had, and they very kindly let us view through their scopes so we could have a good look at them.  I zoomed in with our little camera and did the best I could, but it was quite dull and they were a long way away, so please excuse the quality.  (We need a lottery win to get some better equipment!)  We were also able to watch 4 of them giving a flying display later on when we returned down the lane.

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Short eared owl, Hayton

Walking further down, we spotted a barn owl hunting and flying around (see first picture).  We watched it for about half an hour.  Again, the pictures aren’t fantastic, but it was a wonderful experience to watch it in its natural habitat.

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Barn owl, Hayton

We then saw a little owl land in a tree, but it flew off before we could get a picture of it.  So we got what we went to see.  We’ve never seen wild owls so close before: the barn owl flew straight towards us at one point.

Fantastic day again!  Up the owls (Sunday, not Wednesday)!

 

 

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