Sunday, 11 December 2011

Owling at the Moon

The weather has been hit-and-miss recently, but when the weather has been OK, I've gone looking for Barn Owls at our once premier location. I've seen the occasional Barn Owl, but they definitely aren't as numerous even here as they used to be until last December. However, there have been compensations. I've seen a Little Owl in a new location & one afternoon I was lucky enough to see 2 different peregrines. The first, a female, was dragging a partially plucked pigeon in its talons, struggling to get into flight in contrary winds. Only 10 minutes later a young Peregrine flew directly over our heads towards the estuary.

The other day I had my best ever views of a Short-eared Owl, but my camera was on the wrong setting & then a car coming the other way prevented me from taking any decent pictures. It flew right over my car nearly brushing its wings over my roof. There was another one the same day in a different area. And this is where my nephew and I had another close encounter yesterday. This one landed on the bank of a ditch within 6 feet of the car, but a thick hawthorn hedge made photographs difficult. A few minutes later it flew off & perched in a much more open location, but it was a lot further away. It was nearly dark by this time & I had to crank the ISO up to 3200 - something I've nearly had to do before - the results were surprisingly satisfying, even though more than 20 pictures had to be discarded!
Moon over Thorngumbald
Short-eared owl
This was less than 6 feet away, but was the other side of a thick hawthorn hedge
Not a flying cowpat
The Little Owl before it launched itself
Record shot of a Peregrine
Back at Home - Great Spotted Woodpecker on the font
Roe Deer

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