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Sunday, 18 December 2016

Roosting Barn Owl and up to a million Starlings at RSPB Ham Wall!

Thanks to a tip off from Jan and Neil Fearnley, I headed off to Tadham Moor on the Somerset Levels this afternoon to try and photograph a hunting Barn Owl that they had been seeing there regularly.
    Shortly after arriving in the spot it had been seen, Jan and Neil turned up themselves!
Closely followed by the 'Greylake birder' Mike Tout!
   The light was awful and alas, typically, the Barn Owl didn't put in it's usual appearance!
However, Jan and Neil pointed out a tiny white dot in a tree right at the back of the field opposite....it was another Barn Owl, watching us closely! 
  I walked down the bordering Drove to see if I could get close enough for a photo. I managed a couple before it decided enough was enough, had a stretch, then dropped down into the hollowed out tree trunk and out of view!
    On the way home I decided to stop off at RSPB Ham Wall to see if the roosting Starlings were going to put on a show.....there were plenty of people there, and the Starlings duly obliged, up to a million of them! The sound was incredible as they descended into the reedbeds right next to the path!
    The light wasn't ideal for photos, so, unusually for me, I tried some video too, which you can see below.
 What an amazing experience, I advise everyone local to go and see and hear the incredible spectacle for themselves, get there at about 3.30pm and wait for the magic! 

^Above^ - The Barn Owl.

^Above^ - My YouTube uploads of the murmurating Starlings at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - LOTS of Starlings!

^Above^ - Sleeping Mute Swans at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - As the light faded, the mist rolled in....