I knew it was going to be a bad week when my cars power steering failed just as I started the second section of last weeks webs count. As the week wore on even my problems developed problems and with the poor weather, not a photograph was taken. Got out briefly Friday evening and snatched a view of one Short eared Owl seeing off a Buzzard along with a Sparrowhawk gliding up one of the ditches hoping for an easy meal as seventy or so Fieldfare came in to roost and the growing Lapwing flock rose skyward but not a shot was taken in the failing light.
As I woke on Saturday morning I groaned as I realised the place was fogbound and the chance for some birding solace had been removed. Spent the morning tidying the weeks devastation when I realised the cloud had burnt off and the sun was out. Should I work or............ I needed to take some shots and Bolam Lake was on the way to my early afternoon appointment.
Arrived to find a sunlit oasis of calm punctuated by moments of motorbike revings, child screamings, dog barkings, womans chattings and idiots shouting into mobile phones. WHY? Anyway there was plenty of Nuthatch and Woodpecker calling but they were staying well up the trees out of the commotion. Even the Mallards were unusually shy and with two Canada Geese, two Goldeneye and three Tufties all staying well away from the shore I reverted to the easy target to fulfill my desires.
Achieving not remotely spectacular results I headed home and after a fruitless visit to Ponteland Park ended up you know where. Beautiful sunshine but very cold and an ominous haze on the horizon which rolled toward me as I prayed for some early hunting birds but only a pair of Buzzard and a male Stonechat provided any amusement. The fog bank eventually moved over the Carr providing a false sunset before enveloping the full disc of the sun and creating an cold and mysterious light.
No sooner had the fog arrived than it started to disperse and I noticed an Owl mobbing a Kestrel to the west. This was certainly a belligerent bird if it was the same one as the previous evening and I moved down the bumpy road to observe only to find MH set up and sketching a distant Buzzard. He too was after owls and we set off west to get a closer view. The Owl veered off overhead as a photographer warned us of its approach and getting into the open we watched as it hunted over the fields, then joined by another and another till briefly four were in the air. They split and two mobbed the Buzzard whilst the other two vanished into the ether as quickly as they came. MH quickly set up and took advantage of the remaining moments of light as a bird perched some fifty yards away. All to soon however the light faded and the bird moved off and another brief moment of pleasure had been achieved.