Sunday 21 December 2014

The Post Industrial Owl Country Pictorial

Third time in a row, I explored owl country, but decided not to run flat out, and instead explore and take some photographs.

It was worth it.

I love Owl Country. I haven't yet actually seen any owls, but to me there is an inherent excitement about running across ground that had an industrial use in the past; man has given way and nature is re-encroaching. The open, scrubby nature of the area is prime barn owl and short-eared owl territory because of this, and just because I, a not terribly amazing birdwatcher, hasn't seen any doesn't mean they aren't there.

So along paths of broken brick and worn concrete I ran, startling up partridge and chaffinch, and noting how many magpies there seems to be this winter; everywhere you look there is yet another piebald body and long tail riding the winds.

I got round to the Cotham Flash eventually, and with the water level there rather low - has it been drained? - I was able to go running through it. A big raptor was making its way low over the reeds, and initially I thought it was a marsh harrier; its behaviour and flight didn't seem very buzzard like. But, I doubt you'd find a marsh harrier round here in Newark, so I guess it was a buzzard after all.

The big prize occurred when I found myself stuck below the bank and looking for a place to climb out. Virtually under my nose, a bird was flushed out from the thick ground cover.

Barred brown body. Angular head. Long beak. I was looking at my first woodcock.

How nice to see a woodcock in the wild, and not meeting a sticky end at the end of Monica Galetti's cleaver on Masterchef!

Caravan Wasteland

Sustrans 64 graffiti

Portrait of me

A more accurate portrait of me

Ineffective roadblock against off-roaders

Teasel time

Owl country road

The road I took

The road I didn't take

Tarmac path to Cotham flash

Waterless flash

A big cog

No wigeon here today

Bull rushes

Down in the reeds
posted from Bloggeroid

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