Barn Owls Of The North York Moors

On at least three days of the week, every week through winter I have driven to the moors to see just what is happening there. Buzzards have been the mainstay of anything I have spotted, usually around the areas of Glaisdale, Fryupdale And Danbydale. Owls have been clearly noticeable by their absence.

With the exception of a sighting well into twilight and full darkness I hadn’t seen an owl since October of last year. One could quickly arrive at the conclusion that there are now less owls, however past experience tells me they seem to favour full darkness in Winter and then start to venture out in daylight again once we get towards the end of winter.

Once again in 2018 the owls followed this late winter pattern and started feeding in the last 2 hours of daylight before sunset. All the areas I had seen owls in the past I visited and the Barn owls were there feeding away.

I was exceptionally pleased to see one Owl I have now been watching for 3 years. This Owl seems used to people and often goes about his business around a House and a small set of stables where people are working away looking after the horses, perhaps this is why he/she lets me get that little bit closer with the camera.

On Friday of last week I had managed some nice photographs of the owl, but the poor light had meant I had to shoot at a slower shutter speed and a higher ISO. The casualty of this of course being the image quality.

On Saturday the sun shone bright in the afternoon meaning the chances of much better images were on the cards.

The day started well when 5 roe deer surrounded my car at Fyling Hall School Drive. The day finished even better with more time spent with this stunning Barn owl. this time the light was favourable allowing for faster shutter speed and lower ISO.

Ive been watching this Owl for a few days now and was shocked at how much time it was spending on the floor.

Certain it couldn’t be catching food every few minutes I thought it was maybe on the ground waiting for food to run past.

However today in good light and with more time on my hands I paid closer attention. This is going to be one very fat Barn owl come spring. he is catching a Vole or a mouse almost everytime he goes to ground.

Whats also great news is he is not at all put off by my presence. I watched him catch and eat several small rodents at very close range today.

As mentioned above, Ive been watching this same bird for 3 years now. I think these are the best photographs of it I’ve taken so far.

Those of you familiar with my blogs will know I follow the owls right through the year, and with spring just around the corner I’m sure it will be another eventful year in our National Park.

Please book mark my blog or follow us closely on social media for updates on these wonderful birds as we head into a very busy time of year for them, spring is when they pair up and start the most difficult task of all, raising the next generation. Baby owls are expected by early to mid summer.

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