Thursday, 16 July 2015

PROBABLY THE FUNNIEST QUESTION EVER ASKED

Yesterday as I was stood on the bridge photographing and watching the Barn Owl hunting, waiting for Mr.Z to turn up.
 (Gutted these three were a bit soft but 'bankers' with room for improvement)

The Owl was busy both hunting and trying to avoid the ambushing Kestrel on the way back to it's nest. Now the next two images really had me wondering if I should post them a: they're crap b: kind of gives the location away c: I didn't want to mock the individual who posed the funniest question I've heard whilst birding. However I figured firstly a lot of local birders know already and more eyes watching it and hopefully not disturbing it means no more repeated incidents of idiots with air riffles. Secondly it shows exactly how bold this individual is plus if it felt threatened by people it has a massive area away from people in which to hunt, which it did to me yesterday when I took these, regular readers of this blog will remember this location it's where I found the migrating Redstart last Autumn. Exactly the same spot. Those who haven't read my blog the railway line runs vintage trains at the weekends so there's no real threat from trains unlike the 'other' Barn Owl that I found. So if you fancy visiting for a Barn Owl please do, however stay off the railway line and stay away from the nest
Just pick a spot and wait,  I mean check this out (crap image but for illustration purposes) which brings me to the funniest question posed by the woman on the right. The Barn Owl flew past within inches of her face. She joined me on the bridge and asked "have you photographed anything interesting", so I said "yeah the Barn Owl that just flew past you". She looked bemused and excited "I've never seen a Barn Owl before just on TV" so I passed her my binoculars and pointed it out as it was to far away to photograph. She was pleased and I could tell she was excited and when she asked how close it was to her I showed her the image, "I think I need glasses" she chuckled. I couldn't help laughing, sorry but I couldn't, more because of her own mocking humour at her missing it then anything else. She spotted a Song Thrush had a chat and I told her I would publish the image and she just chuckled "I deserve that", she left after another flyby and thanked me for letting her use the binoculars. Bless her.
   

11 comments:

  1. Brilliant. She was perhaps at the end of a 100km power walk.

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    1. Probably Adrian lol, in the last image the owl went right up to the second 'large' post before cutting right across her path inches above her, she didn't even blink, never happens to us photographers though!

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  2. That's the sort of questions I'm frequently asked by people when I walk round my local lake Doug.
    Amazing, (to me, anyway), just how so many people don't know or see what's in front of them.

    These Barn Owl pictures are far better than any I've managed. :-)

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    1. Thanks Keith, it's baffling at times, other times I wonder if it's just a conversation starter which I don't mind to be fair as I'm quite happy to point out stuff or talk about wildlife with most people. Though this reminds me of David Lindo's saying 'look up' lol.....or perhaps open your eyes :-)

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  3. I am glad you got some more shots of this beautiful bird. I did not see many Eiders on Tory Douglas and I am not sure what the winch was used for on Tory. Must ask the next time I am over there. Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Thanks Margaret you have a great weekend too.

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  4. Hi Doug ...... great stuff ..... its amazing how tolerant BO's are ..... sadly, to survive they have to be nowadays ....... What never fails to amazes me is how people walk around TLNR .... some with dogs and some without ...... and they don't see a BO within 30-40 metres of them ...... we need people to see and cherish these birds for their long term survival.

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    1. Totally agree John that's why I put the camera down for a few minutes and showed the lady what see missed. It's kind of up to us to try engage people hopefully she'll take an interest maybe she won't. However I remember when I used to just walk my dogs around Summer Leys and asking a group of birders what they were looking at and quite frankly got the cold shoulder and thinking 'tossers' but one bloke (Jake) took time out and showed me....and now look! You all have Jake to blame lol

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  5. Looks like a super location Doug. Great images! I could spend hours here! It's sometimes difficult to know whether to be helpful or not - you sometimes have to make a snap decision as to whether the person looks trustworth or if they're likely to go trampling over your cherished location with hobnail boots on and wreck the whole thing. I'm sure you made the right decision on this occasion.

    I'm totally with you and John Finlayson on the matter of needing to engage people in the beauty of nature. It's the key to the future of this planet.

    I hope your weekend is going well - - - - Richard

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    1. Yeah I always assess people before letting them know unless it's on a nature reserve. This lady was quite mature so thought it was OK. Weekend is off to a flyer, so far.

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