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Thursday, 9 February 2012

Early February Shorties

I'll try and keep this post somewhat shorter than my last one!

Thursday 1st February

We came back from Scotland on the last day of January, and I was champing at the bit to get out and see if the Short-eared Owls were still at my local site. It was 16.35 before two owls showed, but I still managed to get some images. It looks as if the bird shown in the second image (different to the one in the first image) is my old cross-eyed friend!

Short -eared Owl - near Ashby de la Zouch
It started getting dark soon after this and I started heading for home. For some reason I seem to have made a habit of grabbing a last minute shot in terrible light, and then coming up with something that I quite like. This day was no exception, with some images back-lit by light reflecting off the lake behind the bird. The dark splot to the left is an island in the lake.

Short-eared Owl - Ashby de la Zouch

Sunday 5th February

Having been pretty much preoccupied with processing hundreds of images from the Scottish trip, I didn't get out again until this day. I couldn't resist trying to get some images of the owls in the sunshine, with deep snow on the ground. Arriving just after 14.00, two owls were located almost immediately. However, disappointingly, the only shot I managed which showed any amount of snow was a distant one.

Short-eared Owl - near Ashby de la Zouch

The disappointment was partly allayed by some flight images where the underside of the bird was beautifully lit by the light bouncing off the snow below. I've never seen a SEO looking so white underneath!

Short-eared Owl - near Ashby de la Zouch

I managed to get some further shots of one of the owls on a post, and the other in a tree. 

Short-eared Owl - near Ashby de la Zouch
After this, the clouds suddenly started rolling over, it went quite dark, and looked as if it was going to start snowing again, so I beetled off home, not even stopping to take the parting shot. Now I must try and re-connect with the Little Owls - not seen one since 17th January!


  1. Hi Richard fantastic image's all of them but my faves are the white winged one & your cross eyed friend sitting on the post, you just cant tell where he's looking!
    Keep up the good work
    Regards Brian

  2. Thank you Brian. The cross-eyed one also seems to be the most confiding - possibly because he cant tell where I'm coming from!!

  3. Some really stunning images there, I wish I had known they were around when I used to travel to Burton on Trent every week a few years ago. (presuming they appear there regularly!!) :-)

  4. Thank you for your comments Alan. Short-eared Owls have been at this location before, but this is a particularly good winter for them in these parts, and also in other parts of the UK, I believe!

  5. Hi Richard

    I bet you wee chomping at the bit mate! There's nothing worse than being out of town when Shorties or Barnies are out and about!

    Fantastic shots, and I love the one of the lake behind creating a stunning effect.

    That cross-eyes fellow is a hoot! Sorry, couldn't resist that one!

    Like you, I've never seen them looking so white - beautiful.

  6. Great images Richard, I would be well chuffed with anyone of them. I did not manage to comment on your Scottish trip but its a really great post Richard.

  7. Thank you Christian. Giving your profession, I guess I'll forgive you the "schoolboy 'owlers". Sorry - couldn't resist that one!

  8. Thank you Mike for your encouragement

  9. Awsome images Richard, your best yet of SEO's by a country mile! The one on the steel post is my favourite.

  10. Thank you Paul. If it wasn't for the cross-eyed owl, I would not be too happy with the image on the steel post - looks a bit too 'industrial' to me.

  11. I dream with a pic like owl flying at day time.

  12. Thank you 'El Campero'. It was very good luck that they were out so early, and when the light was good!


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