Tuesday, 6 November 2012

LITTLE OWLS.

LITTLE OWL (ATHENE NOCTUA), BASKING IN THE EVENING LIGHT.
Well in my Easton Maudit post I mentioned a Little Owl that I had to walk past, I was hoping not to flush the bird, but sadly the moment it saw me it flew off to a rabbit hole. It dawned on me why 99.9% of my Little Owl images have come when I've been in a vehicle. In fact if you read Paul Riddle's blog (Owlsaboutthatthen) if you go one step further and get some "camo" and pick out spots that are out of the way you can get some truly unique images and get to witness some behaviour that you just wouldn't normally see. In fact when I started to read Paul's blog I have to admit I copied/ripped off his technique and my Little Owl images got better.
It also has to be said normally when it comes to some birds I keep them as "undisclosed" and only reveal the locations if I know the person or they come with a good reputation...preferably both! The above and below image I've never kept quiet, the reason being everyone knew it's location. The tree is a bit of a giveaway, you approach up a narrow road (one car at a time) and because it sits on a junction you're naturally going slow and as you can see it doesn't normally hide itself. Non-birders who live nearby and use the road even know about it, though some think it's a Tawny Owl, whilst photographing this bird I have had several people stop and talk to me about it and some warning me not to scare it, which cheered me up that non birders care so much about it. I even had one "estate worker" tell me other locations etc. Though one weird thing I noticed is if a cyclist/jogger goes past the owl nips back to the cover of the tree, yet if someone trots pass on a horse, the bird doesn't flinch. I have had on several times re-counted to me by horse riders the number of times they've come across various species of owls that just sit and watch them walk past....maybe they don't recognise "human form" when attached to a horse?
LITTLE OWL (ATHENE NOCTUA), ENJOYING A MEAL AT AN UNDISCLOSED SITE!
The above image is the same owl as the first one. I actually put this on another website (UKBP, sadly now defunct) as undisclosed and one person completely missed the rather poor attempt at humour on my part and even said "why undisclosed? Even I could locate the bird if I looked at a map, you should've attempted to clone out the names"...yeah well done! or used clever depth of field.
The only other time I'll reveal a location is if I know the bird no longer uses the site for breeding as is the case of the images below. It's a juvenile that was raised in the remains of the "derelict" Overstone Manor. Sadly last year it became the victim of some nest raiders who stole the just hatched juveniles and the end result was the adult bird (one was also stolen) never returned to the site, though good news is it uses a horse stable nearby that has cameras and staff all over the property and bred again this year, but only raising one fledged juvenile. Funnily enough this image was taken on foot as the owl was quite friendly which ultimately led to it being stolen and when I posted this image and another on Birdguides I received 3 emails claiming it was a pet!
I apologise for backdated images, but any chance on my first night out (yesterday) to get images was cut short when I ran out of driving time and was forced to park on a dubious trading estate apart from a fox the only wildlife seen was the local "working ladies" arriving in cars with punters, half way through the night I was awoken by Manchester police, who rather nicely arranged for my lorry to park in a supermarket carpark "for my own safety", nice policemen. My second night out (tonight) I'm stranded on the A16 just outside Pinchbeck, Lincolnshire, and according to my sat-nav I'm in a field! It's a new'ish road. There is a curiosity not too far away from my lorry in a field, where there is some shallow pools of water with loads of pebbles (man made) that look like mini scrapes, I can hear Lapwings so once I get up (first delivery is at 9am and is in Pinchbeck) I shall have to go and have a closer look. THE JOYS OF TRUCKING!!!
LITTLE OWL (ATHENE NOCTUA), JUVENILE

6 comments:

  1. Lovely little birds Doug; they always make me smile with their expressions.

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    1. Completely agree Keith, if you're lucky enough to find a site with more than one bird, when they start calling it's like an owl "hoot" competition always makes me smile.

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  2. Love the one with the worm, Douglas.

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  3. Ya can't beat a good old Little owl image, and these are TOP CLASS Doug.

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  4. hat gorgeous photographs!!! What sweet little birds too :)

    Microstock photographs

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