I've had enough of checking out existing sites just recently, don't get me wrong it's still as much a thrill to see any Little Owl but theres something really special about discovering a brand new site. With this in mind my target for today was to locate a new site, and to get some images! Hmmmmm easier said than done but I wanted to keep up my run of locating a new site every month for the last 26 consecutive months.
So where was this new site going to reveal itself? I decided to stake out an area of lush pasture with a scattering of mature and wind damaged Ash trees over near Lubbesthorpe, a perfect location and only two or three fields from where a local birder (Skev) reported seeing some Little Owls a few years ago.
I positioned myself (in the Landrover) in a vantage point overlooking a meadow which ran downhill away from me up to a hedgerow and small stream. From my location I was also able to scan all the isolated trees, surely if any owls were in the area this would be the place!
I'd been waiting, watching and listening for a couple of hours when eventually as the light started to fade I heard the distinctive call of a Little Owl, get in there site No 129!!!!! It was coming from the hedgerow at the far end of the meadow so tentatively I drove slowly back and forth along the line of the hedgerow a few times but to no avail. It continued to call but I just couldn't locate its exact location, I think it was teasing me! Finally I narrowed down the search to a single bush, then it showed, and showed well. A very tidy and handsome bird with superb markings and brighter than normal piercing yellow eyes.
I had a good views of it for a full five minutes and had ample photo opportunities, the only problem was the light had all but gone, even with the camera set at ISO 1600 all I could managed was a shutter speed of 1/10th of a second, however I think the end results are OK and the image does do the bird justice.