Sunday, 27 October 2013

Close encounters of the undesired kind!

Snipe (c) Brendan Sheils

Last night, just to be different, I went lamping, this time with Brendan Sheils and Hannah. The weather had come good again - wet and windy and catching wasn't too bad. 6 Golden Plover, 3 Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe, 3 Fieldfare and a Skylark. It could have been even better though.  Walking through the last field I was suddenly aware that I was being watched and swinging the lamp round came face to face with a very pale and immaculate looking Shorty about 100m off listening intently to the interesting sounds emanating from my iPhone! Making my way slowly towards him he let me get to within about 4 paces, just close enough to think he was in the bag. As my heart raced for the second time in three days, he first glanced over his shoulder then briefly back at me and then was off. Disappointment isn't the word.

Thinking that was probably the last we'd see of him I had one more quick spin round the field and then back to the car. As we got over the fence I spotted the owl sat in the field on the other side of the road. 2nd time maybe? Quickly switching on some interesting loops on the iPhone I quietly negotiated the fence and crept silently towards him. Having got most of the way there I noticed approaching headlights. b****ks!  I decided rather than rush it I would keep the bird in the beam and wait for the car to pass. Annoyingly as the car approached it slowed down and pulled up just behind me, lights glaring, radio blaring and a voice shouts "what you doing?" - twice! At this point exit one owl. With steam rising from under my tightened collar I try, calmly, to explain how I was hoping to ring that owl that "you've just scared off"  - think there may have been one or two other words in there too!! Disappointment still isn't the word!

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