3rd May 2016

Barn Owls continued– Our most widely distributed Owls, they are recovering since the devastating impact of DDT sprays in the 1950’s and 60’s but to be sure, the Barn Owl Trust wants anyone who sees one to record it on their (very easy) sightings site. Barn Owls have many adaptations to improve huntinglarger wings and a lighter body means they can fly more slowly and even stall, and hover over prey. Extra soft feathers, and hooks on their leading wing-feathers deadens their sound. Asymmetrical ear-placings, with one higher than the other, means they can locate prey very accurately by hearing alone, even catching Voles etc on the darkest night. Exceptionally long legs and talons means they can catch and kill prey in their talons aloneIMG_9359IMG_9429IMG_9368IMG_8610IMG_8612. Some of these photos are in very low light, so blurred, but show their astonishing manoeuvrability. Conditions: More sun and warmth, with some showers. Temperature: Max 12- Min 6c.

2nd May 2016

Version 2IMG_9380IMG_9384IMG_9388IMG_9387Barn Owls- just back from Norfolk and Suffolk, where we had some great walks and nature-watching, including stunning, incredibly lucky views of a Barn Owl at Cley-next-the Sea. The best view was one morning and probably due to the wind and hail that visited us at intervals! Barn Owl feathers are not very water-proof so they will hunt voles, mice and insects in daylight if weather conditions have been unsettled. Magical to watch, it is thought their white under-parts form an ‘anti-silhouette’, the lightness making them less visible to prey, from the ground. More facts, and less clear photo’s tomorrow! Conditions- After a cold spell, with snow showers in Sheffield, so they tell me, a milder spell is on its way.