Having spent many a late afternoon / evening at Aldcliffe during recent months, primarily in the hope of finding a wintering owl of some description, I was heartened to see that Jonathan Scragg had connected with a barn owl earlier in the week.
This sighting came around the same time that a pair were spotted late one night in the FAUNA reserve - just a short distance away. It's like that old buses cliche... you wait forever for a barn owl, then three turn up at once.
But, I wonder; are numerous barn owls on the move right now, seeking out new breeding territories as spring looms, or might these sightings involve at least one of the same birds?
I set off to the patch myself on Thursday evening in hope of locating an owl or two but the constant drizzle put pay to any notable crepuscular activity.
I then received an email from another local Aldcliffe regular who had cracking views of a barn owl on Friday so once again I traipsed off there this evening.
Within a few short minutes I picked up an owl hunting around the western boundaries of Freeman's Pools before it headed back along the flood defence bund. I got ace views of the bird hunting over the rough grass and watched it catch and eat a small rodent.
Always a real delight to see, barn owls are, and have always, been one of my favourite birds. And better still when one can see them so close to home.