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Sunday, 10 February 2013

Barn Owls Again

Since my last visit to see the Barn Owls I have been watching the weather hoping for a dry weekend with little wind but this just has not been the case of late.

Friday afternoon I checked the weather again and it was low wind conditions but grey cloud and a chance of rain.  I decided it was worth the risk of the 4 hour round trip drive and just hoped it would stay dry.  Saturday morning came and I headed north leaving both the rain and snow behind me.

As I approached the area i slowed down whilst scanning the fields for any signs of the owls.  As I passed between two fields I saw a flash of white perched up right next to the road, great a barn owl perched up within meters of me.  I had made a massive mistake though, the camera was still in my bag on the back seat of the car, why oh why don't I learn to keep the camera on the passenger seat where I can quickly grab it.  By the time I got the camera bad off the back seat and the camera out of the bag the owl had flown off.

It didn't take long before I spotted the barny hunting in the field. I found a good dry spot to park this time after my last visit in the mud.  Whilst sitting in the car watching the barny I also noticed a short eared owl hunting further down the field, my luck was in for a change.  As the owls were still a little far off I decided to stay put in the car and just watch their behavior.  The barn owl eventually perched up on a post not too far away so it was time to get out of the car and take some pictures.


It wasn't long before the barn owl started hunting again but this time right in front of me.  This is the closest I have been to a wild barn owl and to watch them hunt so close to you is something rather special.



 

After approx 20 mins the barn owl then headed off to the next field.  I returned to my car as I had parked in between both fields giving me a good overall view.  Whilst watching the barn owl and short eared owl hunting I noticed another barn owl perched in the distance.  It wasn't long before both barn owls were hunting with also two short eared owls at the rear of the field.  I then noticed another barn owl perched on the hedge row and seconds after spotting this barny another flew into the field.  I now had 4 barn owls and 2 short eared owls all hunting together in the same field.  They were still mainly distant at this time so again I choose to stay in the car and watch them.  The last pair of barn owls didn't stay around for long and some headed off leaving the original pair together.  Again patience paid off as they started to hunt close by again and allowed me to get some further shots. 




I had now been at the field for just over 1 1/2 hrs and had taken plenty of shots but as all good things have to end so did this.  The rain came in and the barn owls took cover.  The short eared owls gave one last appearance before they also went down for cover.  

 
I sat in the car and had some lunch in the hope the rain would stop but it didn't so I headed back home but with a smile on my face.  So was it worth the risk and the 4 hour drive, oh yes.  Would I do it again, oh yes.

4 comments:

  1. I have never seen those raptors hunting at day light!! incredible, how lucky!
    Saludos from Spain.

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  2. A great blog and fabulous images Stuart. Added this site to my favourites.

    Mark Walters

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  3. Stunning images Stuart, your work is inspiring. I am a young wildlife artist and photographer from the West Midlands I've been looking for Owl locations but so far have only found a pair of Tawny Owls. I hope to be able to find a Barn Owl and Short Eared Owl in the near future. Please take a look at my site I would love your opinion on my work. Thanks for your time, Matthew. http://matthewlissimore.com/

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  4. You may hard for this perfect photograph. Thank you for sharing great pictures.

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