Due to the fact that there has been plenty to post about during recent events locally I have fallen behind with what else I've been up to. During the Easter break I opted to abandon my local owls, (well only for a day), instead I chose to have a day out in Lincolnshire. I chose this area because after looking at the annual BTO ringing reports it seems as though Lincolnshire has a very healthy population of Barn Owls, even more than Norfolk!
I'd spent a couple of days studying maps and trawling the Internet, it is a huge county but eventually I'd pin pointed where I was going to go and my day was planned. It was a 4.15am start and my chosen area was only just over an hours drive away, much better than Norfolk which is 2 hours on a good run.
It turned out to be a very productive day, in total Barn Owls were seen at 8 different locations, none of the sighting were close and consequently my images were not up to the quality of those I have been getting of late in Leicestershire (he says with tongue in cheek!) but the areas reputation of having a good population definitely turned out to be true.
The one thing that really separates this area from my home county is how flat the terrain is, this made it a lot easier for locating the daytime hunting Barn Owls.
There are a lot of roadside barns and derelict buildings in the area, just perfect for housing day time roosting owls. This image below was the closest I got to a Barn Owl all day (and that still was a fair distance), the image was taken from the car and the bird seemed as intrigued with me as I was with it!
During the day 4 Little Owl sites were also stumbled upon, and honestly that was without even trying! I guess it was a case of knowing where to look and employing the field craft techniques that I'd learnt over the years. I took hundreds of images and these few below are just a random selection from the 4 different sites.
It was a bizarre day weather wise, one minute it was brilliant sunshine the next it was snowing!
Not quite in focus and a heavy crop, but I like the posture in this next image, I thought it best viewed in a monochrome style.
This next image is my personal favourite of a Little Owl from the day (I am a sucker for dark backgrounds) the owl was perched on top of an old steel tank and I liked the way it peered around the pipe whilst being caught perfectly by the slither of sunlight.
The icing on the cake though were the fly past views of Male Marsh Harrier, what a bird!! These images are very heavy crops, too far away really for my 300mm lens but what the heck they are by a country mile the best I have ever achieved.
It was a brilliant day, the conditions could have been better but I loved every second I was there, I can't wait for a return visit, of which I am sure will be very soon!