Wildlife artist captures rare footage of tawny owl bathing in bright sunshine during heatwave

As the heatwave continued across the UK, it’s not just humans finding the heat hard to take.

This tawny owl was caught on camera bathing in bright sunshine as temperatures soared to 26C.

The baking hot bird even takes a drink, gulping down water as he frolics in it.

The unusual sight was captured by wildlife artist Robert E Fuller, who uses wildlife cameras to follow the day-to-day lives of the inhabitants in his garden in North Yorkshire.

Bathing – wildlife artist Robert E Fuller captured unusual footage of a tawny owl bathing in the hot weather (Picture: Robert E Fuller)

He said: “I have used surveillance cameras to watch wild animals for my paintings for a number of years now and have a lifetime’s experience of watching owls in the wild but this is the most extraordinary behaviour I have observed from an owl – in fact I think it is unprecedented.

“These birds are nocturnal and rarely come out to bathe like this in daylight. But what is particularly unusual is to see a tawny owl drinking. Most birds of prey get their moisture from their food. This bird is really gulping down the water.”

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Temperatures in Thixendale reached 26 degrees on Thursday – not as high as some parts of the country but high for the region.

Mr Fuller, who writes a monthly column in the Yorkshire Post newspaper about his experiences watching wildlife for his paintings, uses wildlife cameras so he can understand animals before painting them.

A picture of the tawny owl is part of an exhibition of paintings of woodland wildlife on show at his gallery in Thixendale.