It was about this time last year I think that a Tawny Owl was heard calling in the Reculver recording area, a very scarce bird to get so with this in mind I was awake early and out of the house at 5.15am in the dark. The sky was clear and there was little wind but it was quite cold with the car telling me it was only 6 degrees celsius. With the heaters on I had a drive around the area stopping every now and then at various locations to listen but with no joy. I then drove down Reculver Lane towards the towers 5.45am and suddenly saw a white flash in the trees above. I reversed back and looking up, there was a Barn Owl staring at me. I didn't suspect it would stay at all but I attempted to get the camera out of the bag and try to get a few shots. I'm no expert anyway but to try and photograph in the darkness was not one of my strengths. I took a few shots as I leaned out of the window which were blurred so with the Owl looking around quite seemingly happy I took of the converter and put the camera onto auto and manual focus. Amazed after all this noise I must have been making it sat in the tree looking around and allowed me to fire off a few shots. Most of them come out blurred again but the odd one was not bad and for a first time effort in the dark, I am actually very pleased with the effort below. Moments like this in birding are priceless and for a few minutes I was able to share this experience with the Barn Owl. Eventually the Owl flew off down the lane into the darkness. For a change this morning I then drove over to Chambers Wall where I thought I would give the bushes a grilling to see if anything could be teased out. I sat in the car for a while while it got light and the odd Wren and Robin started singing. One Robin in particular sat out on a branch and was singing in the growing light providing a nice silhouette. I was soon out with the camera and took a few more shots. Eventually the light got better and I started off with a good walk around the bushes in the car park before walking up to the crossing and walking along the embankment to the Poplars and then onto Coldharbour where I had a look out at sea before returning back inland and looking at more bushes. Birds noted this morning were 3 Teal, 20 Cormorant, 26 Chiffchaff, 15 Meadow Pipit, 4 Goldcrest, c60 Golden Plover, 1 Green Woodpecker, 2 Redpoll, 1 Hobby, 1 Kestrel, 5 Greylag Geese flew south, 5 Mute Swan, 10 Blackcap, 3 Sisking and 14 Goldfinch. There were 5 Reed Bunting, 6 Jay flew west on one flock, 1 Redwing, my first of the autumn called from the bushes by the crossing before flying off high west, 6 Little Egret were out on the mud along with 18 Ringed Plover, 5 Turnstone, 7 Redshank, 8 Oystercatcher, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Rock Pipit, 12 Mallard and 1 Stonechat on the bushes while I looked unsuccessfully for the Wryneck. Other than birds I noted 2 Migrant Hawker and 7 Red Admiral. Lets hope something turns up in the week to tempt me out!