I went to the meadow near Cotterstock lock a few days ago at around 9.30pm and saw a barn owl flying. It was quartering the field, slowly flying back and forth in a regular pattern. I stood where I was and eventually it came within about 30 feet. No fuss, no sound. And like a kingfisher it appeared lit from the inside.
The following day the hay was cut. I wondered whether the owl would be affected by this, and it seems so. It didn’t show that night or the following. I arrived a bit earlier today and just as the light was fading a female kingfisher landed on a metal post at the jetty below the lock. This was the first perching bird I’ve seen in nearly a month and there was just enough light left to get a photo. I was intrigued as to how it was managing to sit on a hollow post (where are its feet resting?). But more importantly, it was a female and the extent of pink on its lower beak suggests it is an adult but younger than the one I saw near the nest in the earlier part of the year.
The intense calling continues at the end of the wooded section and also near the lock and the millrace towards the pond. It is very noticeable in the evenings. Could there have been a territory grab?