I'm still a bit behind on my posts, so please bear with me!
I've got a mixture of locations I go to now, so depending on the weather, the time of day, or how much time I have will dictate where I head.
The nearest to me it Lavell's Lake, which has a good mixture of all sorts of wildlife. There are the usual residents which include the Swans (as in previous blog entries), Common Terns, various ducks etc.
This chap is one of the resident Moorhens, decided he was bored of swimming and jumped up on a raft for a rest.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned my constant struggles to get pictures of the Great Crested Grebe chicks, the parents have done well to keep the checks alive, but finally I've managed to get a half decent picture of them.
Out the back of the lake is a former landfill, it's now a fenced off 'hill' with various methane vents.
A little bit of history of the area now... before it was a landfill it was a gravel pit in the late 90's, one of the major productions of the area... but prior to that it was (rather predictably) farm land. In particular it was cattle farm land with an attached Dairy called "Lea Farm".
The Farm still exists, but ceased milk production during mid 90's purely due to costs. It was the same issue back then as is happening today, whereby it costs the farmers more to produce the milk than it is sold for. So, the land was sold off and the farm closed down.
Now, it is a Chocolate Factory (of all things!), so still has a fair amount of movement around the site.
Anyway, the reason for that brief bit of local knowledge is because over the landfill, and bordering the remaining farm are usually a good selection of wildlife and birds in various forms.
Earlier in the year I saw a pair of little owls in the Oak Tree on the farm, but according to google maps, the distance from the fence to the tree was a third of a mile, so even using the sigmonster I was struggling. The owls had not been seen since spring (as the leaves covered their roost and they were no longer visible).
Now it appears one of the young fledged Little Owls is getting adventurous, I spotted him sitting in the guttering of the main barn of the farm!
Unfortunately it was still a long distance to see, but great to have confirmation they're still around.
In the meanwhile, my ongoing Barn Owl obsession continues.
I happened to be well placed this time round, and the Owl came into the field for a quick bit of hunting before perching up on a dead tree (ironically I usually stand under that tree), he happily sat there fore a good few minutes before flying down for another could of circuits and moving on. Sadly (as always) light was against me, I did manage to recover this one shot of him on the branch though which I'm quite happy with.