It's always going to be a special day when you see a Barn Owl so I guess today is one of those special days and it was special in two ways because firstly, I received my Schedule 1. License this afternoon which allows me to photograph Barn Owls around their nest territory. In actual fact it is illegal and totally wrong to even survey somewhere that you suspect is a breeding territory without the necessary license. So now, armed with my license I went immediately to an area that I had known about since 2011 but had deliberately kept away from because I didn't have the license. It would have been illegal for me to be there. Within minutes of me getting there and then sitting quietly, undetected and hidden in a ditch underneath a hedge, I was elated when a Barn Owl emerged from the ruined cowshed. It glided over the hedge to land in a tree to my left about 50 yards away, ( see above). I watched it sitting there for getting on for an hour or so. I didn't want to move in case I disturbed it and was hoping that it might come in to the meadow in front of me to hunt.
Eventually it moved off to hunt in the fields behind and then I saw not one but two birds, obviously the pair. I took the photo below in the now almost dark.
As I drove down the lane which incidentally is used constantly by the occupants of a nearby house, I saw one of the birds in the lane. I managed to get a nice photograph without getting too close and then it glided down the lane to perch in the tree at the bottom. Not wanting to disturb it anymore I sat in the car and waited for it to fly off in to the fields again.