What a windy weekend!
I was given a copy of Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet by Mark Cocker for my recent birthday. I grew up only a few miles from the Yare-side village of Claxton, so was particularly keen to read the volume. Mark Cocker writes compellingly about his Norfolk owl encounters in the book, and it was these accounts that made me feel the urge to seek an owl encounter of my own.
We headed for the Suffolk coast, watching for birds of prey on a small road that runs along the River Deben, keeping a weather eye on the state of the wind and high tide.
We pulled in at a favourite lay-by and looked around. Intitially the surrounding area seemed devoid of avian wildlife, but all of a sudden a Kestrel swept into view, hovering near the tree-line on our left. It did not hang about, but David was quick to spot a Little Egret in a dyke on the opposite side of the road.
We had watched Barn Owls, these magnificent giants, from this spot in the past. Astonishingly we did not have to wait long before a graceful, if ghostly, form spread out before us, quartering the fields. It circled round for a short while before taking roost in the dense bare branches of a tree. The photos below were nearly all taken behind the glass of the car windscreen and the conditions for photography were far from good. But the joy was in the seeing and the watching, and the record shots below testify to the excitement of what could otherwise have been a dull January afternoon.
|We finally reached the waterfront, where we looked out on Felixstowe Ferry and its martello towers ...|
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