This summer has been an incredibly busy one for me, so many wonderful things to point my camera at and many great trips out and about.
In the next few posts, I'll try and go through some of the highlights of the year so far....
One of the very best experiences so far this summer was one of the briefest too. Recently I moved into deepest, darkest Somerset.... a little village in the midst of the Somerset Levels and during my first week driving around the lanes near my new house I stumbled across a pair of Barn Owls breeding very close to the road. I spent a bit of time over the next few weeks watching them hunt at all times of day, but never got to see them terribly close.
One day I was driving down the road, on my way to go birding at Ham Wall when I looked across the field where they spent much of their time hunting..... there sat only feet from the edge of the road was the male, perched on one of the metal gates leading into the field.
I turned the car around a little further down the road and slowly idled closer to him. Most birds are reasonably approachable if you are in a car as they don't really perceive it as a threat and as long as you crawl along slowly enough and stop gently you can use it as a makeshift hide without alerting the bird. Thankfully for me, this was the case and I managed to park up within 15 foot! I slowly lifted up my camera and started firing off a few shots, but unfortunately another car was coming up behind me.
I started to move away slowly, but the car behind had clocked the owl too and stopped a bit too quickly for the owls liking.... Off he went to the other side of the field to continue his midday hunt. It was a pity I didn't get to spend more time with him, but I was more than happy with the few images I captured of him! Maybe better luck next time!