19th July 2009
While visiting my home town of Liverpool, Luke and I met up with Tom Charles, a friend who has a real passion for nature that is reflected in his photography. Previously we had met up but the weather was dreadful and we couldn´t even venture out of the cars due to the British Summer weather. Anyway, we arranged another expedition to a location in Lancashire, were Charles had seen and captured beautiful images of Barn Owls. (www.tomcharles-photography.co.uk) Luke and I arrived about 15 mins before Charles and never really saw anything except for a lone Sparrowhawk being mobbed by a number of Starlings. Oh yes, a Curlew flew over us and landed in the nearby field. (Later we spent time walking near this bird just to hear the lovely call it was making). When Charles arrived, he spotted in the distance something white flying low over the field. All three of us took binoculars to hand and shouted out in excitement. Luke in particular had been waiting and looking for a sighting of a Barn Owl for over a year, so feelings were truly high! Charles told us to keep low and wait as it would fly toward us near the canal that was between us and the bird. It was amazing to watch this owl systematically hunt up and down the field looking for its prey. It then landed in the field, we think to have a rest. We walked further up the canal and it took off again, flying out of sight. Charles suggested we carry on moving. Suddenly under a small bridge I saw the Owl flying low and was coming straight toward us. Charles excitedly said "Get down lads, and hold fire". All we could do is watch this silent hunter as it amazingly got nearer and nearer to us! With cameras ready we waited until eventually all of us just had to go for it and started to shoot from the heart! The bird just kept coming nearer until it decided to land on the grass floor directly opposite us on the other side of the canal. We were amazed! Within 5 seconds it looked at us and flew off. We were on such a high! The light was now vanishing and was proving difficult to shoot in. Walking back again Charles (with amazing eye sight) spotted a Little Owl perched. As it was too dark to photograph we just looked at this little cute bird! All in all this was an amazing magical night, and as said one that will not be forgotten! Birdlist: Barn Owl, Sparrowhawk, Curlew, Greenfinch, Little Owl, Heron, Mallard, Lapwing.