Little Owls on the Wiltshire Downs.

Again, another early start and long drive ahead, as they say, “the early bird catches the worm” or in my case little owl.

Arriving on site just after 7am, being a little later than I wanted to be,  thanks to a part of the M4 being closed. OK, normal format, in hide, gear ready, two camera`s were being employed, one that was being used on the two rusty metal barn`s, the other, on a wireless remote, which was focused on different posts in front of me.

I didn’t have to wait long for a visit, as an adult little owl had already been spotted as I approached the hide in the 4 X 4.

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This little fellow came and sat as if he was inspecting me, stretched up, I though he looked a bit like a Meerkat. Of the two old rusty metal barns, one had a hole on the apex of it`s roof, on and off throughout the day one or more of the little owls used it as a look out post for predators.

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Another small owl decided to pop-up through a hole in the roof of the other barn as well.

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The action continued on and off through the day apart from a quiet spell around lunch time (handy) with different birds appearing on many different perches. In front of one of the barns was a tree I was hoping for a different shot with an owl in there as opposed to the rusty metal work or the old beams of the barn.

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My prayers were rewarded, once and once only, one of the owl`s landed in the tree and stayed for around 5/10 minutes, looking fantastic with the sunlight coming through the branches.

At the side of one of the barns where some of the corrugated metal had come away over the years, was a post, again  I was hoping for a little owl to land there giving me the chance, with the correct exposure to send the background of the image black, well it was as if someone was answering my prayers yet again as can be seen below.

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With the sun now moving around behind me and dropping lower in the sky, the light on the perches in front of me was now becoming golden, needless to say I was again hoping for some visits on these.

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My luck was in, I was getting a number of visits, even from more than one little owl at a time coming in…….

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Although I don`t have a shot to show you, the top owl in the shot above, a few seconds after the image was taken jumped down and landed on the other owl`s head.

The action was so furious, I think I could have still have been there now, so to end with one last Little Owl.

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Packing the gear away, the thought of the 140mile journey home began to fill my mind, but it was late, the thought of “KFC” on the way home overtook the 140 miles.

If anyone is interested, the image below was taken on an iPhone shows my view from the inside of the hide.

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To end, some details on the shot above, the Camera on the right is a Canon 1D MKIV equipped with a 800m F5.6 lens, for shots in and on the roof of the barns.

The camera on the left is a Canon 1D MKIII equipped with a 70/200mm F4 lens on a wireless remote, this camera was focused on the nearer perches.

Just to end with, plans are already afoot for a return visit.

Please click on any image for a larger view.

 

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