Focussing on what is on my doorstep
25/05/14I have been concentrating in the last few weeks on photographing what is on my doorstep. I love travelling, but there is so much to photograph without leaving home. I am lucky living in a rural area, but there has also been a lot of hard work in encouraging local wildlife. At present within 200 yards of my backdoor I am able to see on a regular basis Little Owls (looking at one 20 yards away as I write this!), Barn Owls, Kestrels, Buzzards, Pheasants, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, European Hares and a load more. And this is 5 miles from Blackpool Tower!
The Little Owls are the stars of the show and as soon as I put out some mealworm they are flying in throughout the day. There is definitely a pair nesting in the barn attached to my house, and the male has been very active flying to the mealworm, eating one and then flying back to the barn with another one! Over the last two days I have started to see both of them and so am very hopeful that the eggs have now hatched and with a bit of luck before long the family will be out and posing for my camera! I was in two minds as to whether to bother going out last night when the light improved. As I only had to walk 30 yards, I made the effort, and the photo attached to this blog was the result. I was no more than 5 metres away, and I am absolutely sure it knows I am there, sitting in my hide. I am so fortunate.
The Barn Owls in the past have nested in a box in a barn which was storm damaged and had to be pulled down for safety reasons. Despite this they are still around and appear to be nesting. In fact they appear to have taken up home in the roof space in an outbuilding used as tack room, tool shed, and gym. A few days ago I walked into the tool room at 2pm - and a barn owl was flying just 2 metres away from me, before rapidly disappearing back into the roof space.
In january I made and erected a kestrel box by the gate. When we returned from Tenerife 5 weeks ago, the first thing we saw was a kestrel flying away from the box. Since then I have regularly seen the male kestrel bringing in food and delivering it to the female, and again as with the Little Owls, in the last few days the female has reappeared, so hopefully their eggs have also hatched and both parents are now actively hunting.
And finally I have found a patch of land on the adjacent farmer's field where I can regularly see and photograph hares. As soon as our field has been mowed and the grass is shorter, the road kill etc in my wildlife freezer will be used and hopefully the buzzards in the nearby wood will come in for a free meal, and I will get some more photos.
The photos that I have taken recently are to be found in the "Recent Work" section in my galleries. Enjoy.