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Saturday, 19 November 2011

Short Eared Owls

Last year I was lucky enough to visit Warbley Carrs to get a few images of these great birds but its a long drive.  When I received info from some good friends that there were a number of owls showing more locally I just couldn't resist. 

I had not been to this site before and it was a few years ago since Ken also visited so we opted to park where Ken knew.  On arrival we found ourselves standing at the opposite side of the field to our friends.  Was this to be a good move??

Whilst scanning the area with the bins I spotted a Barn owl inn the distance but it seemed very happy just sitting in the hedge.  The sun was out and it wasn't long before Ken shouted Owl, I was so happy that they at least showed.  More and more owls started to appear but they were still distant and favouring the other side of the field.  We stood around hoping we would be lucky and one would fly our way.  As the afternoon went on we noticed that some of the owls had moved to the next field and this was closer for us.  I managed a few shots but they were still large crops.  The good news was that there were plenty of owl and it was just amazing to see them hunting. 

During the week I managed to take a few hours off work and treat the wife to see the owl :)
The weather was not as good as the weekend but I was hoping it would be quiet.  This time I opted for the other side of the field and found the track to get there.  We had only been there for approx 30 mins when the wife said "Owl".  Great they were out again.  They came alot closer this time and I managed some better shots.  Again I could stand there for hours just watching them, what a great bird. 

As i write this I am getting ready to visit again this afternoon, lets just hope for good weather and a close view of them. 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Catch up

I haven't had much time to keep post on the blog due to work commitments so I thought I best catch up.

I have been looking at buying a new camera body now for some time and when the opportunity came up on a 50D I couldn't resist.  So the 30D has been put away now in the cupboard and I have a nice shiny 50D to play with. 

After seeing the pics of the Squacco Heron at Atttenborough we decided to head to Nottingham and try a few shots.  The weather was not the greatest at all but hey a opportunity like this can't be turned down.  On arrival the Squacco was very distance and not really moving around.  Ken arrived approx. one hour later and he must of brought some good luck as the Squacco started to move around.  Alot of my shots were binned but I managed a few. 

A few members from a forum I am a member of had arranged to meet at Cannock Chase so I decided to leave Nottingham and make my way back to the Chase.  Here I met up with them and had a good laugh whilst also trying out the new 50D at high ISO.  The nuthatch was shot at ISO 3200 and I am pleased with the results.
The following day i decided to try for the Great grey shrike again as it was still showing well.  On arrival we saw a few peeps we knew and the Shrike had not been seen as of yet.  It was approx 1 hour before the Shrike was spotted but it didn't seem to be perching in the same stop as the week before.  Another 30 mins passed watching the Shrike at a distance and I decided it would be best to have a walk and try a new spot further down the valley.   After leaving the others it didn't take long to notice it perching on a ideal perch every so often, this would be a waiting game.  I set up with the perch in view along with Paul and we just hoped it would land there again.  It wasn't long before the Shrike did exactly that whilst also coughing up a pellet. 

The new 50D seems to be performing well so all in all a good week.