Hi and welcome to my Blog, my name is Paul Riddle and I live in south Leicestershire, UK. Back in August 2007 my quest began to locate as many local Little Owl territories as possible. The driving force was a reported decline in the uk numbers so I thought I would do my bit and conduct a study in my area. After 7 years and countless hours out in the field I have detected over 200 different sites. With a thirst for a greater understanding of the owls a more comprehensive monitoring and nest box programme then commenced. This also now includes monitoring the local and very sparse population of Barn Owls, please pop back occasionally and catch up with the life and times of my owls and any other wildlife that I come across. I hope you enjoy your visit!!!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Rewarded

In my previous post I introduced you all to my latest find, Barn Owl site No 14. I did manage a couple of distant record shots of the bird albeit in very poor light. Although the images were nothing to write home about I did really like the setting and some of the perches the owl used, as did some of you judging by your comments.
 
So after work this evening I re-visited the same site to see if I could improve on the previous images. Again the light was appalling and to make matters worse the wind was cutting. In an attempt to get the image I wanted of it coming out of the "pop hole" getting closer than before was the key. My tactics were to creep along the hedgerow until I was close enough for a better image but not so close as to stress the owl. Once I was close enough (about 30 feet away) I backed deep into the hedge and completely out of sight. It was now a case of standing there and hoping it would show? The wind was bitter and straight into my face which made matters very uncomfortable as I wasn't really dressed for the occasion, no gloves, no hat and not even wearing a jacket!!
 
On a couple of occasions I nearly gave up because of the cold, but eventually I was rewarded with a showing just before the light went. Again I was forced to use a high ISO setting, and at F3.2 I managed to achieve a shutter speed of 1/200th of a second @ 300mm.

Click on image for a higher quality view.   
 
Barn Owl site No 14.
The owl sat there for around a minute nonchalantly looking around. It glanced in my direction a couple of times, not because it saw me but more a reaction to the sound of the camera shutter. It then disappeared back into the barn, I think it was put of by the atrocious conditions and decided not to venture out, unlike the idiot with the camera!!
 
The owl is using this barn for roosting purposes only as there is no suitable nesting site or box in it, I think I need to do something about that pretty quickly!

UPDATE............

I found out late last night from my "farmer friend" that the building in question that the Barn Owl is using for a roosting site is to be renovated into a cottage!!! Sadly because of this bad news it now means that my plans to erect a nest box inside have been scuppered. I guess now I'll have to put plan "B" into action..........what ever that is???
 

17 comments:

  1. Wonderful picture, you dream of here right?
    And now indeed soon a nest box on hang for descendants!

    Regards Michel

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  2. Just brilliant really do like it alot. I did chuckle to myself about the bit about vanishing into the hedgerow, I do a similiar tactic and when you get a rambler or horse rider go past it really freaks them out.lol

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    1. Last year I was deep in a hedgerow waiting for an owl to show when a couple of ramblers came walking by. The woman stopped no further than six feet from me, pulled her strides and knickers down and had a pee right in front of me!
      A shocking experience I can tell you, and no I didn't get an image!
      Cheers for your comment Doug.

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  3. Great shot Paul, hope to see more from this site

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    1. Yes I am hoping there is more to come too!
      Thanks for commenting John.

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  4. Excellent shot Paul, great reward for your efforts.

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  5. A lovely image, Paul. The colours of the wood make for a very nice BG. You're of course right; clicking on the image provides a much better quality image.

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    1. Yes there seems to be a problem with uploading images to Blogger, the quality is always reduced, especially with landscape shots??????
      Thanks for your comment mate.

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  6. This is one of the best Barnie images I've ever seen! The setting is just perfect. Well done mate!! Will contact you separately about images on Blogger.

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    1. Well thank you Richard, kind words indeed!

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  7. wow perfect ... perfect .. as she looks at you ... just beautiful
    greetings Frank

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