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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Owls Old and New - w/e 28th August, 2011

I've not posted any owl images for a while. The truth is, I haven't taken as many photos of owls as I usally do, although August is alrerady a record month for me for Little Owl sightings. However, below are a few images that I have managed since my last owl posting.

My LO Site No.02

This is a site on my 'local patch'. Unfortunately it seems that a number of people have picked up on this site, mainly through this blog, and the disturbance to the owls by some of the less sensitive photographers seems to have put them through a rather nervous patch. I have resolved to continue to be vague about locations and try to avoid, in future, publishing images which give locations away too easily. I'm pleased to say that the birds are settling down again, and I do request that, if you do seek out this site, you treat the birds with respect.

Little Owl - my Site No.02

Having gone through a period of seeing up to three juveniles at this site, I am now (with one recent exception) only seeing a single adult bird - or at least that's what I believe. I've commented on this before on these pages, wondering whether I'm actually seeing two very similar-looking birds. Bearing in mind that Little Owls are quite capable of changing their appearance by changing their posture, I'd be interested to hear whether you think that all the images from this posting from this site, taken over the period of a week, are of the same bird.

Little Owl - my Site No.02
My LO Site No.06

A bit further from home than my local patch is my LO Site No.06. I'd not seen any owls here for a while, so I was pleased to find the more confiding of the pair out when I visited on 23rd August. This is, to my mind, the prettiest of all the Little Owls that I monitor. With those big bushy 'eyebrows'. it doesn't seem to have that same angry or accusing look that many of them do.

Little Owl - my Site No.06
My Lo Site No. 12

Back to my local patch for another of my Little Owl sites. Here, I have not been seeing the adult birds since the farmer installed a pigeon scarer, but up to three juveniles have been showing regularly. I have still not managed the image that I want to get, and a recent setting up of my hide for three days coincided with the farmer needing to do some work which disturbed the birds. These are the best that I've managed so far.

Little Owl (juvenile) - my Site No.12
My LO Site No.23

This site is on my route to Rutland Water, where I am one of the large team  of volunteers on the Osprey Project. I only found this site a month ago, and I have few opportunities to vist it as it is the most distant of my LO sites. The appearance of the owl here (only seen one so far) makes me wonder if this is a recently dispersed juvenile that has taken up residence. I still do not have the images I would like - this is my latest one.

Little Owl - my Site No.23
My NEW LO Site No.24

Whilst manning the Leicestershire and Rutland Onithological Society stand at Birdfair last weekend, I picked up a few hints and tips on possible Little Owl sites. So far, one of them, not far from my home, has yielded a result - my LO Site No.24 to add to the list of sites that I monitor! On my first visit, I just found a juvenile out in the open. I hope to get some better images in the next week or so.

Little Owl (juvenile) - my NEW Site No.24
During the course of my owling travels I do, of course, occasionally find other wildlife that I like to take photos of. I see a lot of Brown Hares, particularly as it's getting dark, but rarely manage an image of one. This is one I did catch close to my Little Owl site No.23

Brown Hare - near my LO Site No.23

Recently, the number of dragonflies/damselflies that I've been seeing has increased dramatically. I really don't have much success with my birding lens on these, and find it almost impossible to achieve focus on the smaller damselflies. Here are some of my recent efforts (none of them 'rare'!).

Emerald Damselfly (male) - near my LO Site No.08

Ruddy Darter (male) - neasr my LO Site No.08

Migrant Hawker - near Belton
If you compare this image with that on my previous posting concerning a Migrant Hawker in my garden, you will see what I mean about the difference in markings on segment two of the body.

Common Darter (female) - Rutland Water

Common Darter (male) - Rutland Water

I rather like the articitic effect of this image of a Small Copper - pity that it has a damaged wing!

Small Copper - Rutland Water
Cormorants - Rutland Water

Finally - please can anyone help with the identification of the rather sinister-looking bug, found on the walk back from one of my owl sites? To my mind it looks like some sort of wasp.

unidentified bug - near my LO Site No.06

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