Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Little Birds, Big Task

I have been trying my hardest to find and photograph Little Owls recently. This is considered one of the best times of year to see them as the young are fledging and calling their parents to feed them so the adults are very active and locating them is supposed to be easier! Photographing them has however proved tricky....


I have checked a couple of local spots that have been reliable in the past but they have proved fruitless, not sure what has happened but all evidence of owls at these sites have dissapeared! The next site was with Adam who has seen a pair across the river from where he lives on private land, we gained permission to access this land from the landowner who luckily i knew and an adult owl popped out of its home, landed on a post and then flew off...only allowing a couple of pics!



Not the greatest of photographic ventures but just seeing an Owl was at least a start and this was followed up with an evening trip to Pegsdon Hills, just 5 minutes from my house and another site i have seen owls in the past. As i approached the hills i heard the familiar screeching of a baby Little Owl calling its parent, views were had of both adult and parent including watching a baby being fed a worm by the adult in the top of the tree! Great views but not an amazing amount of photos....






Locally has been a challenge and i will continue to look for decent sites before the young move on, one last place to try and photograph owls was Regents Park in London, a strange place it may seem but in reality it is actually a brilliant place to see them! I arranged to meet park and wildlife expert and all round decent bloke Tony Duckett who has a blog about the parks wildlife - http://regentsparkbirds.blogspot.com/ check it out! We had a couple of hours in the morning to view the owls before they head further up the trees and away from the joggers and dogs that inhabit the park during the day.


This was a truly memorable experience, the owls are so used to the presence of Tony and his vehicle that he can approach quite close and they dont seem to mind, we saw 1 adult and 2 youngsters during the morning (which started for me at 4.10am with a train to london!), unfortunately the sun was always behind clouds so my photos are a bit dark and dingy but seeing the birds this close with them so relaxed was such a privelage, we even saw a baby being fed on the ground by the adult! Fantastic! Here are my best shots...











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