Monday, 29 February 2016

Very Blurry Photo of a Magical Moment

I stood transfixed early this morning at the office window watching a beautiful Barn Owl swooping over and over across the field opposite looking for some breakfast, or supper I guess since they are usually active at night.  I reached for the binoculars which usually live on the office window sill but they weren't there.

So I got my camera and tried to zoom in but it was a fast moving target and I was lucky to get this shot.  It dived behind the hedge over and over no doubt, spying things running for safety but seemed to fly away empty handed.  

It was back again a few minutes later and spent a futile ten minutes or so sweeping low over the field, landing and resting every so often but then taking back to the air to see what it could see.  It seemed from the distance I was at to be quite a young bird, as it was nowhere near as big as the other Barn Owls I have had the good fortune to be closer too.

In Oxfordshire one flew ahead of me as I made my way up our drive (one and a half miles of track) using the headlights of the car to hunt by, sweeping majestically away from the beam of light as I passed the barn.  It took all of my concentration to keep the car on the track and not go over into the ditches while I tried not to be too transfixed by the bird.  Then weeks later I saw possibly the same bird sat in our barn, it was on the beam just over my head and just in front of it's nesting box, rather stupidly I spoke to it and broke the spell ... it flew away.  Well it seemed rude not to say 'hello'.

Image result for barn owl

If I had been quicker this time, and maybe had an all singing all dancing camera .... and more patience than I have ever had in my entire life ...  I could have got a shot like this one.

They are beautiful birds.

But I've got my blurry photograph and now this blog post to remind me of a magical morning moment.

Sue xx

Blurry photo all my own work .... other 'proper photos' courtesy of Google Images ;-)


  1. Until I read the post I thought the magic moment was actually seeing Sunshine on the hills in the distance!!
    Love Barn owls swooping and gliding. We had them here regularly for many years until a big hollow tree at our neighbours was blown down

  2. You were very lucky to see the Owl, xx

  3. Great job to see one, let alone get any kind of photo!

  4. They are superb birds aren't they? We have one who lives in our barn and we see it almost every morning when we are getting up - it quarters the field opposite our window.

  5. Wow, what a wonderful picture of the owl.

  6. We rented a barn in Cornwall 8 years ago and it came with a resident owl in the field opposite. The barn owl would take to the sky every morning and every evening and absolutely made my holiday. I cam across a mother owl and her young on a training flight last year while out on a bike ride. The young had got tired and came to rest on a road sign right next to were I was standing. She wasn't very happy... squawking at them to move away.

  7. Did you watch last week's Country File? A couple had bought some land in 2002 and planted all sorts of trees and it was now a haven for barn owls, the lady was even dissecting the poo pellets to see what the owls were eating; mainly voles. What a long thought out idea. A few years ago we were lucky to see a few adult barn owls teaching the young owls how to hunt. There must have been about fifteen owls in all. We have a heavily wooded field nearby and we are blessed with all sorts of birds and wildlife, we are very fortunate. Must say, I loved the photos of poor Rosie after her bath what a hoot, pun not intended. Love Andie xxx

  8. I thought the same as Sue in Suffolk ..... when I saw the photo I thought your "magical moment" was the sun shining on the hills opposite your home. Your views and your home are amazing and it must be the icing on the cake to be treated to the spectacular views of the barn owl flying over the field. What a good start to your day! Kind regards, Louise S, Cheshire.

  9. That would have been a magical moment. I've never seen one, it seems to be tawny owl country round here. Barn Owls are indeed beautiful birds. Maybe one day :)

  10. They are beautiful birds and I've never seen one up close. We have a pair of bald eagles and a pair of golden eagles on the farm this spring. This morning I had Grand Jury Duty in town and on my way home about two miles from the house a white hawk of some sort flew off a carcass in the road. I'm not sure what kind it was and it had some black and brown spots scattered through it's body.

  11. How lucky to see one so close - we have tawny owls in the wood, hooting every night but not yet seen - I would love to see one. You have a good chance of seeing your owl again as they keep to the same hunting areas.

  12. I love magical moments. I can just make him out on the photo.

  13. Awesome - I would have been just as excited !! I've never seen a Barn Owl but Bald Eagles trigger the same kind of thrill when I see one !

  14. Owls are marvelous - how lovely to have the chance to watch one for more than a few moments, even from a distance!
    For the 2nd year, I've been watching a livestream of a nest of Great Horned Owls - two babies have just hatched. Mama is feeding them, and though their eyes aren't open yet, they bounce around clamoring for food. So interesting. I hear Great Horned Owls on summer nights but haven't seen one here yet.
    The livestream is on the Cornell Bird Lab site, in case you'd like to check it out:


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