After not getting out owling for the whole weekend I was just chomping at the bit to get out this evening, and lucky me the weather was just glorious. The sun was still pretty strong and there wasn't a cloud in the sky, ooh just perfect! As time was getting on I didn't want to waste too much time driving around, so I opted to visit my site No 10 in the adjacent village of Cosby.
Upon arrival I surveyed the area from distance, it wasn't a surprise to locate the resident owls out on top of the barns sunning themselves. Trouble was how was I going to get close without spooking them? As I was pondering over what tactics I should employ to get close to them the local farmer came up trundling up the track in his tractor. Now the owls here are use to the coming and going of the local farm traffic so as he passed me I tagged along behind him. We went up the track in convoy and as soon as I was parallel with where the owls were I peeled off and parked. This worked perfectly, they didn't even give me a second glance!
The male owl was the nearest of the two, so I grabbed a few shots of him first. Shame I could only see his head and shoulders.
I then turned my attentions to the hen owl, she was a little further away and sat motionless on the barn roof. It took a whole five minutes before she turned and faced me for this image.
Whilst with the owls they seemed very relaxed and appeared to be totally oblivious of my presence. I think the combination of sneaking in behind the farmer, being ultra quiet and having the camo netting up at my window worked perfectly to stay undetected.
During this time the male owl did move about occasionally, as the light levels were just brilliant for higher shutter speeds I had a go at capturing some "action shots", something you don't often get with Little Owls!
As any long time followers (sufferers) of this blog will know, I have been attempting to get some "decent" action/flight shots of Little Owls for a few years now. I am very pleased with this evenings results, definitely up there with my best.........I think?