I had arranged to meet with a good photography friend at the chosen location as the day before he had spotted a Weasel, and we also were aware, from information we had received, a Barn Owl had been seen visiting late in the afternoon.
A great start to the day, upon arrival, the pond had a thin coating of ice, with the help of a few well placed stones, this soon started to clear.
The first couple of hours were very quite, with only visits from a mixture of small birds, not what we were looking for, then he arrived, the known resident male Kingfisher, looking superb in the early winter morning light. We had the pleasure of his company only for a very short while, his only visit of the day, but a worthwhile wait to se a bird in such great condition.
Then, a long way out in the reed bed something started to stir, movement was seen, then a glimpse of a head, followed by the Weasel putting in an appearance, on of the reasons we were here, at first he was always partly obscured within the reeds not offering a clear shot, the briefly he came into full view.
As said before he was a long way into the reed bed, the image is a very heavy crop from the original.
A choice was made to switch hides in preparation of seeing the Barn Owl.
The next couple of hours were spent watching Cormorants’, Grey Herons and Little Egret`s in flight, with the light and the hope of seeing the owl fading fast, a shape was seen coming towards us – yes, he had arrived, the camera settings had to be quickly increased to cope with the light, the ISO was set to 3200, with a group of focus points selected to try and ensure “locking on ” the focus in the low light. For anyone else who is interested the other camera setting used were 1/200 sec; f/5.6; Aperture priority; Evaluative metering
We were treated for a short display of hunting, a dream to watch at close quarters in the wild, then all too soon the display was over, he disappeared into the trees.
The last siting had of the bird was on the walk back to the car, he was seen leaving a tree and flying off down river.