The weather is starting to improve and the days are starting to draw out, spring is definitely in the air and the new breeding season is just around the corner. Getting out in the Landie at this time of year is very rewarding (almost a privileged although expensive!), especially early morning just as the day is dawning.
Every thing is great, so what could improve matters?? I'll tell you what, a new Little Owl site (No 243) and with a very showy resident pair too!
This latest site wasn't just accidentally stumbled upon, I have had my eye on this particular location for a while now but nothing was ever there, or at least I never saw them before. It compromises of a couple of isolated farm buildings/sheds that are only really accessible in the Landie, but unlike on previous fruitless visits this time I hit the jackpot!
After staking the area out for an hour two birds showed in the gap at the end of the brick barn.
Initially they expressed caution and checked out the Landie from the relative security of their little hidey hole. After a while I think they realised there was no threat and they dropped down onto a lower wall. They were now very close and I had to stay as quiet as a mouse behind my camo scrim so as not to spook them. The only noise being made was from the camera shutter, they could obviously hear it as they would occasionally turn and look right down the lens, it didn't scare them though, in fact I think they were inquisitive?
As the time passed they grew in confidence and started to use a variety of different perches. By now they almost totally ignored the Landie, just the occasional glance was made.
Although mild it was still very windy, this played into my hands as the grey clouds were soon blown away leaving an almost cloudless sky and brilliant light.
It was amazing just how blue the sky was at times, although I had to be aware of not blowing the whites in the now brilliant sunshine.
The good light also allowed me a few opportunities of capturing a few "flighty" shots, this particular aspect of photography is dammed difficult and I messed up a couple of chances but luckily I did nail a few in the end.
The "head on" shot of an owl in flight has to be the hardest particular image to attain, the camera and operator have to work in total synchronization, oh and the setting have to be spot on!
The flight shot of an owl moving across (eg from left to right) is I suppose a bit easier than when one is coming straight at you, although still a tough one to capture. The light has to be really good allowing for a greater depth of field without the loss of the much needed high shutter speeds The final ingredient to capturing the perfect image is of course a lot of luck!!
It is not often that when a new owl site is located some half decent images are captured in the same visit. Usually there has to be plenty of planning and re-visits but I guess on this occasion I just got lucky?
Thanks for visiting and catch you all again soon...............