Saturday 1st August ended much drier and sunnier than it had started, so I ended my day at West Hartford in the quest for a couple of owls.
I was not disappointed - pretty much the first bird I picked out was the short-eared, sitting on a fence post near to the east side of the pool.
With hopes of a good fly-by I promptly got the camera gear out of the car and set up... only to find that some jerk on a trial bike was zooming around the rough ground between the pool and the "business park" road.
So that was that - the SEO had shifted and was not seen again during my visit.
Not to worry, plenty of gulls heading in and out of the pool - mainly black-headed, with a few lesser-black backed and herring to boot.
A common tern flew over calling but could not be seen.
Just after 20:00 the barn owl appeared and within seconds had caught a rodent... and was off - too efficient a hunter! So just a few record shots as it flew away (in a less than perfect direction for a picture).
Ten minutes later it reappeared, only to land on a distant fence post alongside the plantation behind the farm - from where it hunted from until I left... so I'll have to try again!
There are lots of barn swallow feeding over the fields too, with numbers of swift also increasing.. they'll be off soon to warmer lands.