It’s 7.30AM and it’s snowing heavily. I’m questioning my reasoning behind stepping outside with my camera this morning, but with my new found determination to do more photography this year, I know I have to. I’ve been watching the Barn Owl’s on the fen and I know they’ll be out hunting at this time of day, but in the snow? I settle down on the base of a tree and wait. The falling snow patters softly around me, and the swiftly moving clouds open to reveal a glimmer of light. White wings in the distance, and before I know it Mr Barn Owl is hunting in front of me.

Barn owl, Tyto alba, in flight at dawn, Norfolk, February

He swoops in silent flight and I watch, there’s nothing more mesmerising than the sight of a hunting Barn Owl wafting through the air. He floats away out of view and another snow shower moves through. After some time, a movement catches my eye, looks like Mrs Barn Owl is awake.

Barn owl, Tyto alba, perched in tree at dawn, Norfolk, February

She begins to hunt and is chased briefly by a Kestrel, she ignores the squawking falcon who starts his own hunt on flickering wings before being moved on by a pair of Carrion Crows. The Barn Owl glides past, this is my first photography session with them, and I was concerned about how they would react. I needn’t have worried though, both ignored me and hunted as normal, not even looking in my direction.

Barn owl, Tyto alba, in flight at dawn, Norfolk, February

She perches up as another snow shower approaches.  A jogger runs past and the owl and I watch, unconcerned. We’re both waiting, listening, watching the world, she high in the silver birch, me at the base of the oak. Does a Barn Owl stay out in the falling snow?

Barn owl, Tyto alba, perched in tree in falling snow, Norfolk, February

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