So many mornings I have been down to Bere Marsh very early and most times I have had a quick glimpse of the Barn Owl. Just going into roost or flying alongside the hedge, the other side to me of course, or perched in a tree some distance away.

On the 25th June on my early morning walk around 5.30am I decided to head for Bere Marsh again. The hay had been cut the previous day both in the Bere Marsh fields and the Child Okeford side of the Stour so I was thinking perhaps the Owl might change his usual pattern that day and I wasn’t sure where he would be. I passed his roost on the way up the Trailway and looking back you can just see inside the barn without disturbing the bird and I could see an Owl on the rafters, I thought perhaps that was it and he was back home for the day.

Barn Owl perched in tree
Barn Owl perched in tree

I carried on with my walk with Tilly and then returned the same way as I was crossing the footpath to the bridge I spotted something in the tree by the barn, it is some distance away from the footpath but I like to think my eyesight is pretty good! I realised it was the Barn Owl and I hoped he was out to do another swoop of the fields and sure enough that’s what happened. I stood on the bridge and watched him cross Millham island and the field to where there was still a corner of tall grasses, within seconds he was down, I waited a little while and up he came with a Vole. By this time Tilly and I were hidden behind a rather large Dock plant at the other side of the field, right in the line for him to return to the Barn. It was a really great experience as he flew towards us, he never saw us and carried on back to the roost, what a lucky encounter, my patience paid off!

Barn Owl with Vole
Barn Owl with Vole
Barn Owl with Vole
Barn Owl with Vole
Barn Owl with Vole
Barn Owl with Vole
Barn Owl with Vole
Barn Owl with Vole
Barn Owl with Vole
Barn Owl with Vole

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