Saturday, 16 August 2014

 Another Afternoon and Evening with Little Owls.

Richard and myself set off for another jaunt with the Little Owls on Thursday the 14th. We set off a little dubious as to the outcome due to heavy showers that had been around and promised for the afternoon. As it turned out we had a wonderful afternoon not only with the weather but also the Little Owls. Richard called in on his local patch on his way over to me and finished the day with 14 Little Owls. I managed a reasonable second place with 13, unlucky for some. This all with the fact we wanted to get home early as Richard was on early duty at Bird Fair at Rutland Water. We also found another new site.

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Little Owl Site No 2.
This is a site we have only seen one bird at for a while and after this visit we are of the opinion we have lost the male bird. He was very laid back, he used to just sit in the nest tree whilst we took our images, where this bird appeared more nervous but still allowed us to take the images without flying off.

Buzzard near Little Owl Site No 3.

Little Owl Site No 4.
Not sure as to what he was looking at but it had certainly got his attention

This is the site we visited last week after the farmers wife said she had seen some Juvenile Little Owls, we assumed they were displaced birds from Site 5. We watched the birds for well over half an hour with great amusement as to some of the antics they got up to. 

We at one point had this bird in the tree as in this image and the one below. We also had another bird sitting on a circular feeder the other side of the gate. The bird on the feeder or as we thought was continually calling its sibling.

It then moved onto the gate and did some wonderful moves, bobbing up and down and playing with the bit of baler twine. Richard and myself decided to take some video, a new venture for me, by the time we had remembered how to operate the cameras in video mode it had returned to the feeder. After a short time it flew up to the tree to join its sibling, it was only then we realised the calling was still continuing to our left and after a short time we spotted the adult below.

Little Owl Site No 17.
We have another little owl site within a few hundred metres of our site No 5.

Little Owl Site No 10.
An adult and a juvenile, taken as a record shot as the birds were 190 metres away.

Little Owl Site No 9.
It appears to be an adult in the nest hole with another bird just visible farther in the hole to its right.

Little Owl Site No 12.

These have always been very difficult birds to get good images from. Today we decided to try and get a bit closer, we walked across the field not looking at the bird until we had gone past the barn and he couldn't see us and then started a pincer movement across towards the barn only to see him fly across the field and land in a tree some 40 metres from my car. We carried on across the field to where we thought the nest tree had been, went through a gate into the next field, discussed the nest holes visible and returned to and went through the gate into the original field. Instantly a little owl flew out the tree only about 3 metres above our heads and set off to the tree where its partner in crime had settled. Again shows the need to scan every inch of every tree.I managed a useless image of the second bird in the middle of the hedge on the far side of the field.

Hare near Little Owl Site No 9.

Little Owl Site No 13.
Even though we had not seen any signs of the birds breeding, I got this image on Wednesday of an advanced juvenile, will visit again soon and see what can be found.

About Me;

Titus White:
Hi I am Richard Peglers friend Titus White, and those who follow Richards posts will understand the name and reason for it. I have been birding with Richard for 3 years and a volunteer at Rutland Water on the Osprey Project for 2 years. My early images were taken on a Nikon D80 with a 70 - 200mm lens. I updated the lens to a 70 - 300mm VR lens but still was not happy with the results. Eventually when Nikon announced the D7100 I decided to change so upgraded the camera and also invested in a Sigma 50 - 500mm lens.
I first met Richard through Arthur Costello as I was having the occasional visit from Little Owls on our land. We eventually found the Little Owls through another contact about 100 metres away. Photo's will follow on future posts.
I have recently upgraded my camera to full frame, this is a challenge I am at the moment enjoying trying to get the best out of the beast.
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