Wednesday, 14 January 2015

14 January 2015: Coombe Hill Meadows and then Hawling in the snow.

Spent a couple of hours down the local reserve at Coombe Hill Meadows. The paths alongside the canal were very wet and muddy, requiring wellies rather than just boots, especially as the boardwalk to the Grundon hide is under about 10 inches of water. Many of the meadows are flooded so there is no dry land anywhere near the hide. There are thousands of ducks, geese, Lapwing etc there but all a long way off. There was also nothing about to put the birds up occasionally - no horse riders, dog walkers, joggers or even birds of prey - so it was essentially very quiet for photography.  However,  the return journey yielded a few hedgerow birds.
Wigeon and Teal
Wigeon and Canada Geese
Wigeon and Pintail
Male Bullfinch

Song Thrush
Mistle Thrush
After lunch I decided that I would go back to Hawling for the Owls. I had originally thought I might leave the owls alone for a while, but the tempttion of owls in the snow was just too much. When I got there the wind had increased in strength and coldness and was blowing out of the South West - the kind of wind that usually akes theShort Eared Owls appear later, sometimes even near dark. However, I soon found that the Barn Owl was not bothered by the conditions.

 The Barn Owl caught 3 voles while I was there and as I left he was still perched ready to hunt for more.

I left at 1615 and no Short Eared owls had shown by I left - whether it was the wind, the snow or a combination of both I don't know. There were only a couple of other people there and I haven't heard whether they showed even later or not.


  1. Amazing shots Bob. I'm so jealous of your constant owl shots. I've only seen the little owl at Portland :(

    1. Thanks Darran - maybe you should explore the Cotswolds while they are still here(-:).