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!!!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Road Runners!

Because of the demise of the male owl at my favourite site (see previous post) I have now turned my attentions to some of my other local Little Owl sites that I've been neglecting of late. One such site really produced the goods in a different sort of way. The nest tree is down a very quiet country lane and is positioned right next to the tarmac road, the fledged juveniles (3 of them) spend most of their time just sitting in the tree surveying all around them. 


But as the light starts to fade they become bolder and drop down out of the tree and onto the road below. They then scurry around in the grass verge looking for any tasty morsels or tit bits. Occasionally they decide that the grass verge on the other side of the road looks more promising and they run over in a very comical sort of way. As I sat and watch their antics from the car I realised that a new photo opportunity had been presented to me that I'd never managed before. The owls on the dark grey coloured road offered a nice contrast and back drop, so a reposition of the car and eventually a few images were captured.


 
 


Yes I was happy with the results but I thought if I could get a lower perspective that showed more of the road in the background the final results would be improved somewhat. So during a quiet spell when all the juveniles were up in the tree I gingerly opened the door and sneaked out, I then sat on the grass verge behind the car.

The wait for them to drop back down onto the road was no where near as long as I thought it would be. Yes they could see me but because I kept very quiet and avoided eye contact they accepted my presence. The light levels were by now very low but I think the "darker" ambiance complements the overall effect.


In this next image I have managed to capture what I could see in my minds eye, a nicely posing owl and a very different coloured backdrop that fades off into the background.


It just goes to show that if one sits very still at the right time of day the owls at times can come very close indeed. These last two images are full frame at 250mm, I would say the owls were no further away than 6 feet away from me!!



I am very pleased with the results as it is nice to get something a bit different. I think that there is every chance that one of these images will find its way into my 2014 owl calendar!

13 comments:

  1. Absolutely tremendous. Like you say: something different. I don't think that you can beat a walking Little Owl. Well done.

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    1. Yes I agree there is something special about a walking owl Christian.

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  2. You've done it again - got some fantastic behavioural shots.

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    1. Thank you Errol for your comment.

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  3. Some very nice results - a reward for your patience. I particularly like the ones where they're walking across!

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    1. I am pleased you liked the walking images too.

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  4. Brilliant images mate ...........

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  5. I enjoyed the ones of them walking they look so comical and look like they've been watching the Monty Python's sketch "Ministry of Silly Walks" absolutely brilliant. I also liked the late p.m. shots too, fantastic images.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Doug.

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  6. Great shots! What 300mm lens do you use?

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    1. Thanks for your comment Early Worm, I use a Sigma 120-300mm lens with a Canon 7D body.

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  7. haha!!!.. What a beauty!!!. What it is to be young! Regards..

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