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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Short Eared Owl at Uphill!

The weather was glorious yesterday so I decided to visit Uphill near Weston Super Mare in the afternoon to see if I could photograph the Short Eared Owl that had been seen there regularly over the last few weeks. I arrived at 4pm and was obviously too early as there was no sign of the Owl, so instead I went for a walk along the river and back around to the boatyard, which rewarded me with my first Swallow of the year!
  Looking up towards the Church above the cliff, I saw a Peregrine Falcon! At this stage I thought it was a wild bird, so I excitedly made my way down the road until I was at the pathway leading up to the church on the hill. After a brisk climb to the top (I stopped once to gain my breath... I'm not as fit as I once was!) I saw the Peregrine on a little grassy peak. There were people literally within feet of it, which was when I realised that it was not a wild bird, this was quickly confirmed when it took off and it's bells attached to it's legs rang as it soared past me, and from behind the church the falconer came, whistling and swinging string around with a lure on.
    After flying around briefly, the Peregrine suddenly landed right next to me on the grass! It was so close, I couldn't even focus on it with my camera, so had to back off to get some shots!
   Now I know, it's not a wild bird, but it's still a Peregrine, an incredible bird of prey and one of my all time favourite birds, so I took the opportunity to grab some portrait photo's.
     At about 6pm, I walked down to the fields beside the boatyard again to see if the Owl was now about, and I saw it straight away, sat high up in a tree on a little twig that didn't look strong enough to hold it! I spent the next hour and half watching the Owl hunting, although unsuccessfully unfortunately. I took plenty of shots, though it only came close on a couple of occasions. I was delighted. Owls have always appealed to me, they're almost mythical creatures, if I hadn't ever seen them, I'd swear they didn't really exist!

  Below are pics of the Owl, The falconers Peregrine, and other shots from Uphill plus photo's taken in the last week, including Pochard, Gadwall, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Blackcaps and Woodpigeons in love!

^Above^ - Short Eared Owl at Uphill.

^Above^ - Stonechat at sunset at Uphill.

^Above^ - Swallow at Uphill....my first of the year!

^Above^ - Woodpigeons at Uphill.

^Above^ - Shelducks at Uphill.

^Above^ - Reed Bunting at Uphill.

^Above^ - House Sparrow at Uphill.

^Above^ - Mallard at Uphill.

^Above^ - Chaffinch at Uphill.

^Above^ - Carrion Crow at Uphill.

^Above^ - Painted Lady at Uphill.

^Above^ - Backlit reeds at Uphill.

^Above^ - Woodpigeons in love at Backwell Lake in North Somerset. <3

^Above^ - Tufted Duck at Backwell lake.

^Above^ - Jay deep in the bushes at Backwell lake.

^Above^ - Little Egret at Backwell lake.

^Above^ - Chiffchaff at Backwell lake.

^Above^ - Robin at Backwell lake.

^Above^ - Long Tailed Tit at Backwell lake.

^Above^ - Canada Goose at Backwell lake.

^Above^ - Great White Egret at RSPB Ham Wall in Somerset.

^Above^ - Gadwall at RSPB Ham Wall.

^Above^ - A typically shy Cetti's Warbler at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Male Blackcaps at RSPB Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Blackbird at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Goldfinch at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Great Crested Grebes at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Lesser Black Back Gull at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Mallards at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Pochards at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Tufted Duck at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Long Tailed Tits at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Great Tit at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Canada Geese at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Coot running on water at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Chiffchaff at Blagdon Lake in Somerset.

^Above^ - Goldcrest at Blagdon lake.

^Above^ - Great Tit in disguise at Blagdon Lake! :D

^Above^ - Speckled Wood butterfly at Blagdon lake.

^Above^ - A wild Peregrine Falcon at the Avon Gorge in Bristol.

^Above^ - A Jay on the Clifton Downs in Bristol.

^Above^ - Jackdaws on the Clifton Downs.

^Above^ - Magpies on the Clifton Downs.

^Above^ - Singing male Blackcap on the Clifton Downs.

^Above^ - Great Spotted Woodpecker in my Somerset garden.

^Above^ - Woodpigeon in my garden.

^Above^ - Robin in my garden.

^Above^ - Blackbird in my garden.

^Above^ - Teazle at sunset at Uphill.

^Above^ - Helpful sign at Uphill....  :P

^Above^ - Some scenes at beautiful Uphill.

^Above^ - Enjoying some drinks in the sun at Uphill.

^Above^ - The falconers Peregrine falcon at Uphill. Not a wild bird, but stunning!

^Above^ - 'What the hell is this on my leg...??'