Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Flooded Owls

It seems a bit insensitive to put up a post about going to watch a flood at present, but the owls of Aust Warth are an attraction at the best of times, and I couldn't resist a visit.  I wasn't the only one hoping for some close views - like this snap from a couple of years ago.

Usually the terrain where they roost and hunt is a grassy salt marsh, .......

but a few times in the year a really high tide drowns the marsh, and even the road goes more than welly deep (I know mine were nearly overtopped as I tried to get just one more shot!). 

At first the water seems to rise quite slowly , but the shallow gradient means it soon sweeps in.  The mipits found branches to perch on as did the crows ...........

- but they had an ulterior motive.  As the water comes in the voles that inhabit the land can be seen swimming at full speed inland, and the birds pick them off, chased by the gulls.
I had hoped to get some shots of the other inhabitants flushed out, and one or two owls did show, but sadly not as close as on other occasions.
In hindsight I missed the shot here - really I needed more foreground to show the scene properly.  I still tend to see the shot after my first visit somewhere rather than during.

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