Hi and welcome to my Blog, my name is Paul Riddle and I live in south Leicestershire, UK. Back in August 2008 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 5 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!!!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The owling hour.....

I have been asked the same question on more occasions than I care to recall, just how on earth have I manage to locate so many owl sites? Well the simple answer is to be put yourself in the right place at the right time! OK it is a little more complex than that but that is certainly a good way to start. At this time of year it really pays to get out at dusk, "the owling hour". The owls are waking up and coming out to play, and that is the best time to look for any suspicious looking silhouette perched up in a leafless tree, just like the image below. 


Whilst I was trying to perfect the "silhouette" owl image I noticed that there was a rather attractive looking setting sun on the other side of the tree. So I took the opportunity to get a bit "arty"and capture a shot of that too, image below.


Nothing too special about the individual images when they are apart but then I got thinking. I zoomed out to 120mm and managed to capture the whole scene together in one shot. I under exposed the shot so as to emphasise the shadows and also not to blow the lighter areas, and I am really pleased with the final results.
 
 
In fact I like it so much that I cropped the final image and now as you can see it is gracing my blog header, I feel there is a real atmospheric sense about it, hope you think the same?

10 comments:

  1. Cracking sunset image Paul. It makes a great header.

    Cheers,
    Carl.

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    1. Thank you Carl, I'd swop it though for a chance to get some snowy images like you have posted recently!

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  2. Brilliant photos and a great post as always...

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    1. Thanks very much, encouraging words indeed!

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  3. That blog header is just perfect, Paul!

    You're right about this time of year being good. I was sitting in my hide as it was getting dark last night, watching the owl in front of me, and hearing two other owls at a distance on either side of me. An investigation after I'd finished in the hide gained me two new sites in less than 20 minutes!

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    1. Oh for sure this is now by far the best time of year to locate new owl sites, especially at dusk. Just a case of putting in the effort and getting out there at the right time of day, just as you have mate.
      Thanks for your comment regarding my latest header image Richard.

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  4. Hi Paul,

    I love your 'bullseye' big in the frame shots but that final sunset shot is absolutely superb - really works superbly well for me especially with the wings spread! I bet Andy Rouse would be pleased with that! Well done. Looking forward to more.

    Cheers,
    Rob

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    1. Well thanks for your comment Rob, glad you like it!

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  5. Fantastic images, not what I was expecting, the header image is brilliant. Well done.

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