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Thursday, 22 December 2016

Find The Owl - 20th December, 2016

On Tuesday 20th December I set off in my car with a pot of bird-seed beside me with the express intention of taking an image for my blog's Christmas header. The sun was shining brightly, and I knew exactly where I was going. I took sandwiches with me so that I could have my lunch whilst waiting for the ideal shot. I'd even got it worked out that if no bird deigned to alight on my chosen item, I'd take the shot anyway, and superimpose a bird afterwards - if I could work out how!

I arrived to find utter chaos where a vehicle had left the road and smacked into the wall behind my chosen location. The whole location was covered with tape saying " Police Exclusion Site", or words to that effect. The tape was even wrapped round the object that I was hoping a bird would perch on! To cap it all, a couple of hundred metres down the road, the road was blocked by several farm vehicles. Instead of investigating, I departed to have my lunch elsewhere.

So my header image is now something different to what I intended!

For my lunch, I decided to stop at my Little Owl Site No.03. I rediscovered this site back in September after a period of 17 months with no signs of it being occupied. I'd revisited 7 times since then, and every time found the site to be occupied. I had noticed that, whenever I visited, the owl had kept an eye on me. This is behaviour that one fully expects from a Little Owl. What I found, however, is that on each visit the owl was getting progressively better at hiding from me, whilst maintaining its view of me.

At this stage, perhaps I'd better explain the situation before you start worrying that I'm overly intruding on the owl.  I observe the owl from inside my car, parked on the road some 28 metres from the nest tree (as measured on Google Earth). There is enough traffic in the village that the owl is used to it, but it must be perceiving that the behaviour from my car is different. It doesn't take fright and fly, but sits there observing me or going to sleep. I do actually have permission from the land-owner to enter the site, and did so a few times a few years ago, but I choose not to do so these days for fear of frightening the bird away.

On this day, I arrived, and didn't see the owl on my arrival. I was, however, relatively confident that he was there somewhere, and almost certainly watching me. Between bites of my sandwich I scanned the nest tree with my bins, and eventually detected a very slight movement - it was an eye, blinking. There was the owl!!!

So if you're already on holiday for the festive season and wan't something to keep you occupied for a minute or two, you can try and FIND THE OWL.

I suspect that you'll be unable to find it in this next image (taken with my lens out at 500mm) - I assure you that it's there and visible!

Little Owl (Athene noctua) - my LO Site No.03
  OK, so I'll make it easier for you. Here's the same image, more heavily cropped.

Little Owl (Athene noctua) - my LO Site No.03
Did you find it? I'll give you one last opportunity - it's right in the centre of this next tighter crop!

Little Owl (Athene noctua) - my LO Site No.03
I hope you've got it spotted now! If you haven't, you'll be able to appreciate how I sometimes miss seeing owls, even when I'm confident that they're there somewhere.

Thank you for dropping by, and thank you all for your very kind support in 2016, which was very much appreciated.

I take this opportunity to wish you a splendid Christmas, and a peaceful, healthy and prosperous New Year,  filled with wildlife.

                                                                        ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŽ„

Congratualtions to those that found the owl. For those that couldn't find it, I've now added an image, below, with the owl's features indicated. The eye and the forehead are the only things visible!

I hope that you all had a great Christmas day.

THERE IT IS!!!

31 comments:

  1. No, I couldn't find it, I must be daft. Have a wonderful holidays Richard and new year 2017.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ou're certainly not daft, Bob! I'll probably edit this post after Christmas Day and highlight the bird.

      I wish you and the family a great Christmas, and a peaceful and healthy 2017 - - - Richard

      Delete
  2. The real secret police task! Fortunately, my son looked at the bird hiding. It is difficult to find some very wild birds hiding;-) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anne. Your son has sharp eyes!

      Best wishes to you too - - - - Richard

      Delete
  3. Eye see you, only just and with big hint from you. So crafty and definitely keeping an eye on you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well done, Doug. Have a great Christmas - - - Richard

      Delete
  4. Hi Richard, managed to find it or a lump in the tree looking correct? have a wonderful family Christmas and see you soon. John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, John. Best wishes to you and Veg too. I'll add pointers to the owl shortly after Christmas - possibly on Boxing day. See you on Thursday.

      Delete
  5. Miriam thinks you splashed the vodka on Le Colonel a little too liberally, Richard; neither she nor I can find this owl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm surprised that Hawkeye couldn't find it, David. Not impressed by the weak excuses of my acoholic stupor (which has not yet reached the double-owl stage) - I suspect that the real problem is Miriam's lack of imbibement. Please tell her that unless she bucks up her ideas, I'll have to consider demoting her from Chief Spotter to Assistant Recorder.

      Will append this post with an image with arrows to the owl in two or three days time.

      Delete
  6. Only just found it,great spotting Richard.
    Love your new Header,stunning shot.
    John.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well done, John!

      I confess that the header is a total cheat. I don't usually 'photoshop' images, as a matter of principle (photoshop in inverted commas because I don't have Photoshop anyway, but use Corel). However, because I was not able to take my Christmas card photo as planned, I superimposed the Shorty image from earlier this year, onto a snow scene that I took a few years ago. I do wish it was real! I did nearly get a Barnie shot in snow at the same location a couple of years ago, but only managed the DAH shot. Best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete
  7. Sorry Richard,forgot to wish you both a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    John and Sue.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is very unfortunate that I can not find the little owl in all three of your photos :-( Maybe you can put an arrow at :-)
    You header of the short-eared owl is very beautiful. I love owls so I'm always happy when I see an owl. I saw last wake-eared owls and so it was cool to see :-)

    For you and all your loved ones a very merry Christmas and all the good and beautiful 2017

    Best regards, Helma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry, Helma. You are not the only person that can't find it. I'll put an image with arrows on in two or three days time, when people have had time to scratch their heads.

      My very best wishes for Christmas and 2017 to you and yours - - - Richard

      Delete
    2. I would never have found it without arrows;-)

      Delete
    3. I'm not surprised, Helma. It was a bit difficult to see!

      Delete
  9. Hello Richard,
    the owl looks at me with one eye ... super photo ... ;-))
    For you and your family a nice Christmas and a good start in the new year with many great photos.
    Greetings Frank

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see from your comment that you found it, Frank - well done!

      I hope that you are having a wonderful Christmas, and wish you all the best for 2017 - - - Richard

      Delete
  10. Hahaha! Brilliant and fun Richard!
    You really managed to keep me busy looking and although I had spotted the pales flecks of the head, I couldn't figure it out until you arrowed the head!
    Well yes, in such an environment I can easily understand how you can miss an owl!
    At least it kept you quite busy too!!
    You header is fabulous, special congrats!!
    Happy new year to the both of you, I hope it brings you what you wish for and keeps you in good health :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Noushka. I've confessed to the header being a combination of two images as my original plans were thwarted by a road accident!

      My very best wishes to you for health and happiness in 2017 - - - Richard

      Delete
    2. Aha!
      Well the result is stunning!
      Keep well dear friend and my warm regards to Lindsay :)

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    3. I was lucky - I had a Short-eared Owl image with the appropriate lighting to go with the snowy scene!

      Delete
  11. Hello Richard, first of all I want to wish you and all your loved ones a Happy New Year with good health and great photography moments for 2017.
    This blog is stunning and usualy I can spot riddles in picuters but you made it very difficult and I would not have spotted the LO if you did not direct it with the arows. So my compliments for your keen eyes.
    Regards,
    Roos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Roos. I hope that you and your husband have a wonderful 2017 too, and that your husband's health improves. Take good care. I'm looking forward to more of your wonderful blog posts this year - - - Richard

      Delete
  12. I suspect I may have missed this in the field! (given that I could only just see it on the screen!)

    Cheers and (a slightly belated) Happy New Year - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stewart - a Happy New Year to you and yours too! - - - Richard

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  13. I did see the eye in the third picture and told myself "how could it be"
    Nature's camouflage !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well done, 'Haddock'. It does look impossible that the bird's eye could be there without seeing the rest of the bird. However, it was hiding behind part of the tree which blended in with more of the tree which was behind the bird. Because the lens was at 500mm focal length, the distances were foreshortened so that the part in front of the bird looked like it was in the same plane as the part behind the bird!

      Delete

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