This week it is two years since I started my Photo Diary. I must admit that I have moved my objectives and scope quite a bit since I started. Back then I intended to post one image a day taken in the village. Now I have broadened the subjects, to include my wanderings around East Kent, and a few form further away when we take holidays or breaks with the family. I reckon that I've posted about 2300 pictures, which have been fun to take and hopefully have been enjoyed by a few readers.
After my encounter with the Short-eared Owl, or rather during the time I was watching it, I met local photographer, Tony Flashman. He told me the best area to watch for Barn Owls at Worth. It turned out to be just where I'd parked in the rain a week ago. This evening was fine, and as I parked I stopped to watch a group of Grey Partridges in the stubble.
Near me a the hedge was a continuous staging post for a host of thrushes going to roost. Most seemed to be Blackbirds and Redwings, with a few Fieldfares chuckling as they passed by. Most of the time I was looking into the sun and the identification of some of the smaller birds arriving and disappearing into the bushes was not possible.
One danger of repeatedly looking for owls is the temptation for repeatedly taking sunsets. As Oscar Wilde said I can resist everything except temptation.
Two mute swans flew over, and I think they were off to roost on the flood you can see from the Mary Bax stone.
Finally I suddenly realised that the white, ghost like shape above the reeds was a Barn Owl. It was too far and too dark to take photos, but when did that stop me getting a blurred smudge?
It hunted along a ready area on the other side of the field. There were several digging machines and trucks being used, not far from where it was hunting, but this didn't seem to be any deterrent to it.
You can see how dark it is by the brightness of the light it is passing. In the background you can see the gasometer at Deal. When it reached to corner of the field I was surprised to see it joined by a second Barn Owl and the flew together for a few seconds before the second owl flew back and away over the reeds.
A helicopter came over and I took this picture as it passed. It's interesting that even at a 1/250 sec the movement of the blades is almost stopped, I wonder what rpm the go at?
By this time it really was getting too dark to see the owls.