Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The Barn Owl and the Floods

I've had a busy day today, making the most of the bright sun by getting a walk round Sconce Park in late morning time, then having a 12km run to Hawton and Farndon in the afternoon.

In between, I watched the mindblowing film "Interstellar" which is so magnificent that I would be doing you all a major mis-service by not urging you to watch it a thousand times immediately.

There is a lot of water around today, and to be honest, I'm not entirely sure why. We haven't had that much rain here compared to other times of the winter, yet today when I went to the park, Devon Pasture was half underwater!

That's going to make for a fun Parkrun on Saturday.

Later, my afternoon run took me out to Hawton and Farndon through the fields behind Grange Road - I'm still frustrated I can't get out towards Cotham on the Sustrans 64 thanks to the relief road project. Once again, redwing were about in reasonable numbers in the hedgerows, and periwinkle has come into flower too.

The trails were muddy, but I had my trailies on and as the sun began to say I had made in into Farndon. But when I tried to run along Wyke Lane, I noticed flood signs out, and the Lane and large parts of Willow Holt nature reserve were underwater. Snowdrops and daffodils peaked sadly out from the water, well, this is what you get during an early spring.

I diverted round, but decided not to run along the river back to town. I didn't have my bright orange water wings.

It was when I got back into Newark that I found my star of the day. A white shape over the river near the marina and rowing club resolved itself into a barn owl, quartering the meadow between the Trent and Farndon Road. I was thrilled to see it flying towards me, me partially hidden by a hawthorn hedge, and it was no more than twenty metres away when it suddenly dropped out of the sky into the long grass. I could only see the bird's back by this point, but it was still on the ground when I continued my run, so I'm guessing it found a rodent or frog to munch down on.

A beautiful bird, a ghost of the twilight, and surprisingly large looking in the air!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 10.02.16

Devon Pasture

Or rather Devon paddy fields

Park-swim route

Over the A46

Farndon snowdrops

In peak shape

Wet Willow Holt

Watery Wyke Lane

Poor snowdrops

More of Willow Holt

The way to the Boathouse restaurant

Waterside pub seat

Farndon Ferry

Sun setting

Marina entrance


  1. Floods, I put it down to them, you knows. Beautiful photos all the same.

  2. Beautiful, sunny photos, Si, and fantastic to hear of your Barn Owl sighting. Amazing birds to see in the wild!

  3. Poor snowdrops indeed! Beautiful and interesting photos, but I'm sorry to hear about the problems caused by flooding. Owls are gorgeous birds.

  4. How wonderful to see a barn owl!

    Lovely photos, specially the snowdrops.

    Sad to see so much flooding there

  5. I haven`t seen a barn owl here for some years. We used to have one that perched on a shed roof and looked out over the fields. You were lucky to see one!

  6. Great to see,one of me favourite birds,very poor weather,lots of rain.

  7. Great to see,one of me favourite birds,very poor weather,lots of rain.

  8. Hard to beat a barn owl sighting Simon - you were so lucky :)

  9. Thank you so much for your comments everyone, bizarre thing is my parents had seen one only the day before! The floods are small potatoes really, no-ones home damaged as far as I can make out. We are far luckier than some.

  10. There is no more beautiful sight in the world than a barn owl quartering a hedge - we have one near and I never tire of seeing it Si.

  11. I haven't done any running for a week or more :o( Fab to see the owl :o)

  12. WAsn't there today when I looked sadly! THere is one that hunts on the wasteground near work. You are all so kind.