Typical isn't it, I spend many an evening during the winter months freezing my nuts off whilst getting out there and battling the elements searching for new owl sites. Many a time I have questions my sanity as to why I do it but I know it will all be worth it in the end because come the breeding season it's time to reap the rewards. But no not this year, my opportunities to grab some action shots and juveniles venturing out of the nest for the first time has been very limited indeed, why? Because the weather has been bloody awful, or as in last night’s case (and just to compound matters) my Landrover breaks down..........again!!
Anyway, rant over..........for now!
Because of the recent curve ball that came my way I obviously didn't get out last night, instead it was spanners and wrench at the ready and into mechanic mode. After several hours with my head stuck under the bonnet with big hammer in hand I diagnosed the starting problem was down to air in the fuel pipes, after bleeding the whole god dam system the Landie was again operational!
So over to tonight, surprise surprise the weather was again crap, but after suffering the humility of getting my hands all oily and dirty last night a bit of rain and wind wasn't going to put me off tonight......oh no! It was over to my site No 87, didn't get there until 7.30pm and just as I got set up and waiting for an owl to show the weather gods smiled down on me, the clouds parted and a slither of sun broke through, oh yes bring it on! Although I was only there for an hour and a half it was quite an eventful evening, getting confirmation that the site has three fledged juveniles was nice, all out of the nest and begging very loudly for food. But they soon disappeared when the male owl shrieked out his alarm call, a quick look around and this fellow (below) was spotted, he was skulking along the hedgerow no doubt honing in on the noisy juveniles.
There was no way I was going to sit and watch him have a go at getting one of my owls for his dinner, so I hissed as loud as I dare and he got the message, off he scampered.
Then another alarm call rang out, had the Fox returned? I looked in the direction to where the male owl was looking, one of the juveniles had ventured out from the relative security of the hedgerow and it was being sniffed at by an adult Rabbit! The male owl was having none of it, it was far too close for comfort and he then swooped down and dived bombed the Rabbit, although a poor quality image I did just catch the moment before impact, below.
Things then quietend down somewhat and I was able to concentrate on watching the owls. I did manage to capture a couple of images that I am really pleased (below) but the weather didn't hold out for long so I had to call it a day and departed.