This weekend Rob and I went to Buckinghamshire to photograph a pair of breeding little owls. We set of at 10.30pm on saturday hoping to get to the meeting place early so we could get a couple of hours sleep before a 5.00 am start with Neil Neville who had kindly invited us to watch and photograph these fabulous little birds after he has spent countless hours watching the birds and learning their habits. A diversion on the motorway put paid to that idea and we arrived in time but with very little chance of a sleep.
Upon meeting up with Neil we were quickly taken to the site and we spotted a Little Owl straight away. We got into Neil's hide and were almost immediately taking pictures, we were facing into the light and managed a lot of backlit shots. After a few hours the sun had risen sufficiently to make photographing these birds almost impossible so the plan was to return later in the day. Once the birds had moved away we quickly emerged from the hide and went to get some well earned breakfast.
We spent a very pleasant mid morning and afternoon trying to photograph Red kites, although conditions were rather difficult.
Later in the afternoon after some more refreshments we made our way back to the site, we had been there for a couple of hours and the light was now behind us but the birds were not really playing ball with just two very brief visits. There was a fair bit of activity close by from walkers all enjoying the fabulous weather which was probably not helping our cause. Neil seemed unconcerned and rightly so as he really knows how these birds react and behave.
Eventually the walkers thinned out and the birds both male and female made numerous appearances giving fabulous photo opportunities, the light was truly stunning and we stayed taking photos until about 8.30pm. We made the journey back to Devon with big smiles on our faces although I wasn't smiling for too long as I quickly fell asleep (sorry Rob!)
A really big thank you to Neil, a great guy and someone who is very passionate about wildlife giving it all the respect it deserves and without his time, patience and field cratft none of this would have been possible. ( website link on my links page)
More photos to come over the next few weeks!
Great blog and so envious on the little owls. Wish I could get into a site like this, especially as this one is just down the road from me. You're very lucky and the photos are great. Nice one.
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