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Monday, 24 September 2012

In Need of an Owl Fix - on 22nd September, 2012

 If you've looked at this post before and think that it looks a little different this time round, you are not mistaken. I felt that the images, taken into the sun, were a little dull, so have brightened them up a bit (RP on 5th October, 2012)

For a whole raft of reasons, I had not been out owling for thirteen days and, having to go out somewhere where there was a phone signal (thank you Orange for messing it up!), I thought that it was time to re-connect with the owls. I arrived at my Little Owl Site No.02 ('old faithful'!) to find one of the owls out on the chimney. Staying put in the car, I sat there watching. After a while it flew off behind the barn, but reappeared about fifteen minutes later in a place that it doesn't usually sit. I sat watching the bird for nearly half an hour before deciding to get out of the car and take some photos. The bird was in a very confiding mood and let me take all the photos I wanted, and was still there when I sat back in my car again!

I know that I have published umpteen images from this site, but I think that these are in a different location to virtually all the others.



Little Owl - my Site No.02
Closer to home, and in the pouring rain today, a male Sparrowhawk paid us an unwelcome visit. I'm amazed at how a photo taken through the rain-streaked glass of the conservatory window, and through the rain itself, can be processed to look quite reasonable, with only bad fogging to the left of the image. Incidentally, I think that this bird might have been the cause of the disappearance of our juvenile GS Woodpecker. It was sitting atop the feeder that the woodpecker used to frequent, and looking as if it was wondering if another might show up.

Sparrowhawk (male) - our garden

18 comments:

  1. Great images Richard, even through the glass. Never apologise for showing pictures from the 'old faithful'site.

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement Mike. Much appreciated!

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  2. The Sparrowhawk does look exceptionally good Richard, especially in the circumstances which you describe! It's a true shame when the hawk gets a beautiful bird like a GSWP - I'd be absolutely gutted if that happened to mine - as you can well imagine. Thank you for your observations re. the woody in my garden, and I agree, it looks like I've got a young male there. In fact, I've not had a lot of time to photograph recently; it's been a few weeks. In that time I think he's moulted completely now - although that could be the mature male? I'll have to try to see them together.

    Very nive LO images in today' post.

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    1. Thank you Christian. The problem with having favourite birds in one's garden is that it tends to end up being upsetting when they disappear - as they will always do eventually, for whatever reason. However, for me anyway, it's really rewarding when one feels some sort of bond with a particular bird - even if it's not a rarity. Wishing you all the best of luck with your GSW's. Richard.

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  3. These are amazing closeups. The owl sits among the ruins....extremely cool shots.

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    1. Thank you Chris. I'm lucky that this place is quite close to my home. Occasionally I get some shots of one of the owls in the nearby trees, but usually they're just relaxing on the derelict barn roof.

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  4. Oh jeeeezzz!
    That makes me jealous!
    Owls are one of my favourite species of birds after parrots, and I can never get close enough for decent shots...
    There a a colony of Barn Owls on the property but they stand under pine trees, too tight to approach and the area is quite dark... Frustration!!
    your pics are brilliant, maybe I should visit you one day!!
    LOL!
    Cheers Richard and keep going with excellent reportages!

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    1. Thanks Noushka. It's not usual to be able to approach Little Owls so closely. My better shots are usually taken from within a mobile chair-hide that I carry with me - a brilliant bit of kit. However, if you can get your car close enough and stay inside, hiding behind the lens (thus avoiding direct eye contact - they tend to be relatively relaxed until they see that you've seen them) that often works.

      Barn Owls are protected by law here, and it is illegal to approach a Barn Owl nest unless you hold a Schedule 1 licence - only issued under exceptional circumstances.

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  5. Lovely pictures. Our Sparrowhawk has not been around quite so frequent at the moment, the number of Blue tits is low, but no doubt when they do return in larger numbers, the Sparrowhawk will be back with avengeance.

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    1. Thank you Linda. Our Blue Tit numbers are up at the moment - at least 8, but probably 10 to 12, at one time today - so maybe that's why the Sprawk is back here again. I still have mixed feelings when one shows up!

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  6. Another great post Richard, all quality images but the last LO image is real class!

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  7. Great pictures of the Little Owl and same with the Sparrowhawk, brilliant.

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    1. Thank you Bob. I'm hoping for another trip out tomorrow - weather permitting.

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  8. I really, really enjoyed reading this post. I have not yet seen a Little Owl in the wild, but the Sparrowhawk is a regular visitor tmpted by my garden birds. From Findlay

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    1. Hi Findlay. Thank you for your very kind comment. I think that your home is a little further north from my area, so it might make it a little harder to find Little Owls. When you get as far as the Scottish Border they are very few and far between! If you want to find a Little Owl, it will be easier when the leaves are off the trees (soon!). Keep your eyes open for good-sized isolated trees (with dead branches with holes in) with agricultural land round them - or a derelict building with agricultural land round. They're not a woodland bird. Get your Dad to take you out into the countryside when the leaves have fallen!

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  9. Richard. You can fine someone 'new' every surf of the net, today it was your turn for me to find you. What a pleasant surprise....I'll be back!

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