A Chance Encounter

Barn Owl, quartering the moss close to Pilling, Lancs.

Barn Owl, quartering the moss close to Pilling, Lancs.

A few photo’s from a chance encounter with a Barn Owl whilst driving over the marshes and mossland close to Pilling.

Five minutes earlier a huge flock of thousands of Starlings had suddenly taken to the air right in front of me. Suspecting a Peregrine or Merlin had just shot through I parked up and watched the Starlings hoping for a return. However, after 5 minutes still no sign of any raptors. Turning around the unmistakable, ghostly silhouette of a Barn Owl drifted into view. For once, obscured by the roadside hedges I hadn’t been spotted and the Barn Owl continued to drift ever closer silently quartering the moss.

Barn owl flying back and forth looking and listening - a silent assassin.

Back and forth, looking and listening – a silent assassin.

Suddenly the Barn Owl turned its head and plunged talons first into the vegetation behind the hedge.

Barn owl on the ground with a hidden vole that was about to be devoured.

Strike one – the Barn Owl drops to the ground and grasps a vole in its deathly grip.

Squeezing the life out of its unfortunate victim the Barn Owl proceeded to pick it up and gulp the vole down head first.

Up, up and away .

Take off………

After a couple of minutes the Owl stretched its wings and rose up out of the vegetation.

Back to quartering the moss before resting up on a distant fence post

Up, up and away

Effortlessly gaining height the Barn Owl banked left and continued on its slow, methodical quartering of the moss before resting up on a distant fence post.

Back to quartering the moss before resting up on a distant fence post

Barn Owl hunting voles out on the moss. 

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