It was 28 years ago we moved to our village. At the bottom of the rear garden were grazing meadows criss-crossed by ditches. Early morning and late afternoon the meadows were graced by a pair of hunting Barn Owls. We could sit in the conservatory and watch them. Sadly the landowner decided to plant this grassland with native hardwood trees. This is now woodland and the Owls moved on. Happily there are many more meadows around the village. The field opposite our property has been left fallow for several years, turning it into perfect Barn Owl hunting ground.
Quite often now we see these wonderful creatures floating and flitting like huge moths, searching for mice and voles. Luckily I have managed to get a couple of passable images despite the poor light, having to boost the iso to over 1,000 to try and get a half decent shutter speed.
Catch a glimpse of a Barn Owl at night in your car headlights or hear it’s eerie screeching call from a churchyard and it is easy to see how ghost stories of old came about. These are superb birds, silent in flight due to special feathering, the facial disc is shaped to direct the slightest sound to it’s off-set ears enabling it to hear in 3d and pinpoint it’s prey, then it will hover and pounce. Barn Owls will suffer badly in very cold weather. We were fortunate that the recent Arctic blast lasted only a few days, they are back out hunting.