Thursday, December 02, 2004

Owling!


Barn Owls © Nigel Blake

'Twas a great privilege to go owling with Nigel Blake, Paul Hackett and Steve Blain around the wilds of Bedfordshire last night. The aim of the game was to spot as many owls as we could, Though weather conditions weren't ideal (cold and clear; damp weather is popular, apparently, as worms on the road attract Tawny and Little Owls down to hunt), we had excellent views, as you can see...

The two young owls at the top of this post were peeking out of their nest cavity in an ivy-covered tree. Makes a nice change from tea-chests and nestboxes that many Barnies resort to these days.


Tawny Owl © Nigel Blake

Obviously, Pied Wagtails aren't owls or even nocturnal, but they are visible at night - roosting in the local supermarket car-park, right next to a light!

© Nigel Blake


© Nigel Blake

Unfortunately, the only Little Owl we saw tonight was lying freshly dead in the middle of the road. Click here for photos.

On their nocturnal excursions, Nigel and Steve have seen some pretty amazing things, including two Tawny Owls on the rampage, decapitating Woodpigeons (and eating the heads) and a Red Fox running across a field, flushing Woodcock, so it seems that night birding opens up a whole new world of untapped excitement...

What's in my CD player: Awcmon - Lambchop