With the weather as it is at the moment, one minute wet one minute dry, it most be wreaking havoc on the habits of the local Barn Owl population. Having discovered a nest site in an old Barn on stilts no more that 200 yards from the house. I've been trying to make it a priority to get some decent photographs in the past couple of weeks.
Although the weather must prove pretty tricky to them as they can't hunt every night because of the rain, its proving quite useful in tracking them down on the next dry night after the rain. I've come to the conclusion that in the 5.7 miles between my house and the cricket pitch at St Mary Bourne I have seen 4 different pairs. All hunting miles apart in a very short time, the most obvious pair in SMB were seen entering there nest box with voles at quite a frequent rate.
So now I've seen and vaguely have some idea of there patterns - nights after rain they are usually out hunting the water meadows from 7.15pm onwards. Getting in a good spot for photography is the next challenge. The first 3 images below were not well planned, a quick ditch of the car on the side of the road and me stood leaning against it as the Owl flew no more than 30 yards away, quite a magic encounter with the sun still shining.
The rest of the images did however have some kind of planning as to the location, thinking 6.45pm was early enough to get set up in position, I didn't expect the Barn Owl to come flying out of the tree next to me as I looked to enter the meadow. Luckily he/she wasn't bothered to much and settled on a fence post just out of sight. So I had to relocate on the wrong side of the sun and stood dead still on the River Bank as I had a very special hour or so watching this silent predator glide over the tops of the grass.