My owling record over the last couple of months has been pretty abysmal, so what better way to get to know the new camera body than to do a bit of owling. My first stop was at my 'local patch' site No.2. This is my most reliable site, although my previous three visits had yielded no sightings. The owl was not in its usual place, but a walk round to the west side of the barn revealed her sitting there taking in the afternoon sun. I've only ever seen her on this side of the barn once before. I took a few shots before she got nervous and ducked back into the barn.
I then took a walk across the fields to see if I could turn up anything else of interest. As I approached my site No. 11 (where I've not seen an owl for six months), I found the adjacent field being harvested,with numerous tractors, etc. in operation. I then did a traverse of field margins on my patch, and all the while I was doing so, I could see in the distance that my owl was out again on the chimney stack of the 'barn'.
The only thing to raise the camera to was a pair of Buzzards in a distant tree.
The second image above is not from any closer than the first, but is just much more heavily cropped than the first - I'm already beginning to appreciate the new camera/body combination.
Time to return to the barn to get some shots of the owl on the chimney stack. However, when I was just a field away I saw that she'd gone - almost certainly disturbed by the person that was messing about in the field about a hundred metres from the barn. Luckily I managed to locate the owl in a nearby tree - not often that I see this owl in a tree! The sun was going down by now, giving a lovely golden light. I'm really pleased with the results as, again, these (apart from the first image below) are heavily cropped (I didn't get that close!), but they would still happily blow up to A3 size!
Having taken a few shots, I left the owl sitting there and headed off to a nearby farm where I'd heard tales of owls being present, but not yet found one. Having had a walk around in the fading light, I returned to my car and sat there with the window open as darkness fell. At 17.45 I was just about to leave when a Tawny called from the distance. For some reason, I tried 'calling' back to it, and then listened - no audible response! I was, therefore, totally surprised and unprepared for the Tawny when it flew into the tree beside me! Unfortunately it flew off again as I started to raise my camera. Next time I hope to be better prepared - I've still not got an acceptable shot of a Tawny!