Club Visit, Swinton Park Bird of Prey Centre - Tuesday 23rd June 2015.

On Tuesday 23rd June twelve club members set off from Morpeth on a dull morning and had an easy journey
to the Swinton Park Hotel Bird of Prey Centre in Masham, North Yorkshire. This is a magnificent stately home
so our first job of the day was a coffee in the lounge which overlooked a field full of Fallow Deer.
We were then met by Sophie Abbot who runs the Falconry Centre and taken to the aviary to meet the owls.
Out came the cameras and our first bird was a Long Eared Owl which was placed in a circular hole in a tree
trunk. By this time professional photographer and guide Jed Wee had arrived and he gave us pointers as to the
best places to take the shots from. The owl was then placed amongst some flowers on the ground so as to give
a different location.

                    

                    

We then moved into a walled garden where we took similar shots of this owl and a Juvenile Asian Wood Owl.
The Wood Owl was much larger, fluffier and just would not sit still. We all managed, I hope, to get reasonable
shots and from this location we returned to the Aviary to face an even greater challenge. This was to record a
Great Grey Owl and a European Eagle in flight.
Lunch time was very pleasant and after which we took pictures of a very young Barn Owl. Moving out into the
woods, the sun was shining brightly, where we photographed a Tawny Owl and Kestrel in different locations.
Our final bird on what was a superb day was a Buzzard who was about to receive his evening meal of a grey
squirrel.
All in all this was a trip enjoyed by everyone as the weather, scenery and subjects could not have been better.
                                                                                                                                                 Myra.