I was in the Lake District recently, and popped into Muncaster Castle. The castle is a wonderful place that is still lived in (to the point where the library has Alan Titchmarsh books in it), and has an obligatory ghost or two (one of which may have been caused by the man who possibly gave his name to tomfoolery, apparently). Photography is not allowed indoors though – shame!
The really good part, however, is the World Owl Centre, home of the World Owl Trust (WOT) – the downside was that it was raining quite heavily, and insistently.
Some of the owls were surprisingly small – like the Burrowing Owl.
(The owls on the left and right are a bit soft because I had to shoot wide open through chain link to make the fencing disappear, but I like the picture, so damn the sharpness.)
Some of the owls, like young Spectacled Owls, were found to be exceedingly cute by the Art Director.
There is also an opportunity to see the birds flying, and slightly closer during a daily talk, involving keepers and some of the birds that can’t be released to the wild (including a buzzard with a fear of heights – she runs after stunt rabbits). The two shots below were taken during this talk, so no chain link in the way, but it was absolutely p*ssing down – a shower cap was deployed.
Sparky the Barn Owl
Chocolate the European Eagle Owl
This guy is huuuugge. It turns out, though, that whilst Chocolate weighs 5 lbs, in the wild the individuals of the species can grow to 10 lbs, and can handle capturing young deer (which I can believe – Chocolate was eyeing up a golden labrador whilst ‘on parade’. The dog looked worried.).
If you get the chance, go to Muncaster Castle.
More to come from the Lake District … maybe … if you’re lucky.