After an abysmal record on the owl front in May this year, I've decided that June has to be a better month. The pattern of my Little Owl watching has changed somewhat in the last week or so - rather than chase round as many sites as possible to see if any owls are showing, I'm finding it more rewarding to choose a site, and sit it out until an owl appears. This seems to be the best way of doing things at this time of year, when most pairs of Little Owls are looking after chicks, and out and about more, gathering food for them.
Friday 10th June, 2011
With a relatively early start, I spent three hours in my hide at my LO Site No.17. I wanted to try and get an image of an owl emerging from the barn, and the sun is off this aspect of the barn by 10.30. It was a long wait, and at one point I had to leave my vigil to answer the call of nature - which is when I took the following image of a distant Red-legged Partridge - just to try out the new lens!
|Red-legged Partridge - at my Little Owl Site No.17|
Eventually, an owl landed on a post beside my hide (it had obviously been away from the nest site when I arrived). This was not the best place for it to be as I was set up with my camera facing forward. I had to quickly dismount the camera, lower the flap at the side and take a few shots. It did, however, sit there obligingly for a while.
|Little Owl (presumed male) - at my Site No.17|
The bird flew off after probably about twenty seconds, and I sat and waited - and waited! Eventually a bird started calling loudly from inside the barn and, after about ten minutes came to an aperture in the barn. It only stayed for about five seconds before diving back inside the barn and resuming its calling.
|Little Owl (presumed female) - at my Site No.17|
As the bird continued to call, I stayed put in my hide. I passed the time by watching a young Rabbit in front of the hide.
|Rabbit (juvenile) - at my LO Site No.17|
Eventually it was time to go home for lunch as I'd agreed to take my wife out in the afternoon. I lifted the lid on my chair-hide to find that I was being watched from a distant fence on my left. Still seated, I grabbed a few quick photos through the morning ground mist - well no, actually there was a galvanised gate close to me, between me and the owl, and a bar got in the way, causing the misty image. As soon as I lifted myself out of my seat to try for an unobstructed shot the owl was gone - but I quite like the misty effect anyway.
|Little Owl (presumed male) - my Site No.17|
|Little Owl (A) - my Site No.15|
|Little Owl (B) - my Site No.15|
|Common Buzzard - near Lullington|
Monday 13th June, 2011
It was a nice warm sunny evening, and so I set off to my LO Site No.18, near Oaks in Charnwood. As I entered the field through which I access the nest site, a Little Owl flew out of a tree into the field about 200 metres away. It soon flew off again, in the direction of the nest tree, but then flew into a tree only about 150 metres away, so I grabbed this distant, heavily cropped, 'safety image' before it flew off again.
|Little Owl - my Site No.18|
|Little Owl - my Site No.18|