Sunday, 20 July 2014

Ghost of Cramlington

So after a day primarily spent watching documentaries about space I decided I needed some outdoor time. I contained my outdoor cravings until mid evening, because tonight I was hunting!
Hunting for a bird that comes out pretty darn late in the day. I had heard of a local site getting frequent visits from a Barn Owl. The word Owl alone would have done it for me, but this was a Barnie. The last of the British species I've yet to see in 2014.
I had visited the site earlier in the week but too no avail, tonight I was hopeful......conditions were stunningly perfect.

There were plenty of butterflies and dragonflies about, the usual Kestrel was seen flying and hunting over the fields. The wetland didn't feature anything out of the ordinary, a few of the commoner species of gull and a couple Moorhen feeding on the reeds. They were actually using there feet to climb onto the reeds. Sedge & Grasshopper Warbler were heard calling briefly, Goldfinch flew about and the sky featured House Martins & Swallows feeding before going to roost.

One of the many female Common darters flying about tonight

Then I seen it......a white shape to my left, evidently not a gull! I got my binoculars on it, and behold 'twas a Barn Owl!! I quickly rang 'Liverbirder', who was about 1/4 mile away and informed him of the Owl.

The Barnie put on a brief show for us but soon vanished, and shortly after so did 'Liverbirder'. 

I hung around hoping for another performance, slowly retreating back abit more after each scope scan. 
Then suddenly it was back and this time it flew right past me, giving me a cheeky glimpse when it did so!
It perched on a fence post about 100ft away, I crept about 30ft away and enjoyed this amazing birds company before making a gentle retreat back to the car. I didn't want to push my luck and cause the bird any stress, and as I walked away it just stayed relaxed on the post. To be honest it seemed quite comfortable with my presence.