Through my networking grapevine I'd had the heads up on a potential Tawny Owl site, the exact location was somewhat vague but because I didn't know of any birds of this species in the vicinity I just had to go and investigate.
Three times I drove slowly with windows wound down along the entire length of the lane, I did have a brief gimps of a Barn Owl and two separate sightings of Little Owl but no Tawny Owl. On the fourth return I did eventually have some luck, initially I was drawn to the alarm calls of a Blackbird (always a good indication that something is amiss). I parked up in one of the many gateways along this lane and then listened...... On the far side of the road was a tiny spinney, on the periphery Great Tits and Chaffinches could be seen, they had "mobbed up" with the Blackbird and were all being very vocal. They seemed agitated, this was typical of a scene I'd witnessed on many occasions before when an owl (usually Tawny) is close by.
The commotion continued for five minutes, the "mob" grew in numbers and species, Blue Tits, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Robin joined in. Then I spotted a movement within the dense ivy, it was considerable in size, it was a Tawny Owl! The Tawny then made a dash for it across the road, it was closely pursued by far more birds than I'd first thought we there, some thirty or so? The Tawny landed in a tree and then disappeared into a large cavity, the baying mob of finches and tits hung around for a few minutes before they finally dispersed. During this calming off period I took the opportunity to re-position the car and get out the camera.
The owl did show again after a wait of around fifteen minutes, to say I was over the moon with my views of the bird would be a gross understatement, they were brilliant!!
The owl perched on the edge of the crack in the tree for what seemed an aged, in reality it was probably around 30 seconds but it was time enough for me to rattle off a load of frame filling images.
So that is now two new Tawny Owl sites that have offered some excellent roadside views in the last few of weeks. Credit for this last site must go to Shani who came up with the goods again, she's getting rather good at this!
Just a short post, catch up again soon............