Friday, 16 January 2009


Ok, its taken me a while to realise this, but why the fuck haven't I pulled my finger out already and gone to see the Snowy Owl? Even my teachers at college were asking whether I had been down to see it, so I took this as an indication that they wouldn't mind me missing a days worth of lesson to actually go and see it.
2nd thing to think about; how to get down there, everybody in Britain has seen it already, hmm?
My reply to this is perhaps the craziest idea I have ever head: "Ok, sod it, i'll ride!!"
After work yesterday I prepared the bike for a big effort twitch, I don't know what made me do this, but this is commitment to the birding society. Hitching a series of Trains at 11pm from Eastliegh - Basingstoke - Reading - Penzance, I arrived the following morning at around 8am. The 10 miles or so North to Zennor were much more tiring than expected, no helped by the fact I was constantly climbing hills. A short break in between where I utilised my time by proding a freshly killed corpse in the form of a Woodcock. Approaching Zennor and I really which I had fixed my break before embarking on this trip. Tough tits I didn't.

On arrival it took me no longer than 10 minutes to locate the bird sat shoulder height in thick heather. What a relief when I realised I hadn't strained both testicles for nothing. Wow, I was expecting it to be this big! I sat tight for at least 2 hours just admiring the bird from a safe distance, in that time a few birders came and went, and the bird was becoming more active, reaching and stretching etc.

A heavily cropped image of the Snowy Owl, when sat like this, it doesn't make you realise just how big this bird is © Ashley Howe

It was just a matter of time before it flew - hopefully in my direction.

Does it now? Ok, it didn't fly past me, but it was close enough © Ashley Howe

The return leg was comparitably easier, managing to complete the ride in half the time it had taken to get their, however my next reward was a fanny-tastic full english breakfast before embarking on the 6 hour train up to Reading again.


Stephen Menzie said...

W00p, nice pics!

Daniel Trim said...

Sounds like an epic twitch, nice dedication!! I missed that bloody owl becuase of things at uni!!

great pics of the white-billed diver btw, how close did you get to it?