Thursday, April 22, 2010

Silent Flight

Just returned from a few days birdwatching on the Norfolk coast at Wells-next-the-Sea, where one of the highlights was the barn owls. We spotted this wary individual along the Peddlar's Way coastal path...
.... and watched it hunting low over the edge of the saltmarsh with that floating, ethereal silent flight, coming ever-closer until...
...it spotted us. We thought that might be the last we'd see of it..
... as it banked away, revealing....
... this classic flat-faced profile...
... but then it spotted a movement in the grass, stalled....
.... hovered for a few seconds...
... and then dropped onto something small and furry in the grass....
... and then it was away, off towards...
... the church tower in Wells, where I guess it's a reasonable bet that it might be nesting.

14 comments:

  1. Great sequence Phil, I especially like the vertical shots of the Barn Owl hovering and dropping for prey against the spring coloured hedgerow. Linda

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  2. TYhanks Linda, they're all enlargements of a small part of the image - it was quite a long way away and the light was fading ... beautful bird, though.

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  3. Nice shots.
    Supposedly its gonna be a good year for them . . .

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  4. A grand series, bet it made your week.

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  5. Let's hope so Stevie - I have heard there's a pair near Durham city at the moment..

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  6. Certainly did Adrian - the North-west Norfolk coast is a good spot for barn owls

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  7. A great encounter Phil. Such beautiful creatures.

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  8. I always feel privileged when I see one Keith

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  9. Well captured and presented Phil. They are such graceful birds to watch. I keep hoping a pair will use a nearby nest box.

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  10. Hi John, the Norfolk coast seems to be a very reliable place to see them - I've watched them there three years in succession now..

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  11. Stunning photographs.... absolute joy!

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  12. I was so entranced by the bird that it was a bit of a struggle to remember to press the shutter button, Lesley

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  13. lovely pictures - so hard to get focus when the light is low. We've had barn owls all winter around our lodges, but can't say I've seen them recently. Hopefully they're just out later than me now!

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  14. Thanks Maggie, at one point we did get very close to the bird - within about 20 metres, and I was too slow to get a picture ... a memorable moment, though

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