SOME TIME WITH THE SHORT EARED OWLS AND A VISIT TO MY FARMER FRIENDS.
On Tuesday the 5th of January I had an hour or two to spare in the afternoon, so I made tracks for Cossington Meadows and the Shorties. I arrived just after 14.00 hrs, and as the forecast was for some sunny periods in the afternoon I was hoping for some reasonable images in the sunshine. I made my way down to Swan Meadow and met up with some people I had met before and was told the Owls had been out since 13.00 hrs, so my first images were taken at 14.18 hrs with the shorties being chased, initially by six magpies but by the time I had set up the EV on the camera, it was down to one shortie and two magpies. The bird however soon changed positions and chased off the magpies and things settled for a while. The sun however was very un co-operative and never showed its self once in fact by the time I was leaving it had started raining, so much for the forecast again??
I started shooting at an ISO of 2000 but by the time I finished I was shooting at an ISO of 6400, not the best for good images. Also needless to say the birds certainly had no desire to come very close again and the bulk of the images were taken at a distance of 150 metres plus.
Three birds were flying around and all kept visiting other areas, another gent who had been down at one of the lakes said the paler of the three birds had been putting the snipe up on the lake, whether this was for feeding on them or just for the fun is hard to say. Another couple arrived who said Shorties were also at the old American Adventure Park near Ilkeston, but whilst the birds are so close at Cossington why go farther, all we really need is some sunny weather.
Again the Robin arrived and this time had a good feast on the remains of the Hobnob biscuit in my pocket. I took my last images at 15.55 hrs and we all then headed for home.
I then on the Wednesday visited my farmer friends near Desford, and at last after a considerable time saw a Little Owl in the nest tree on the drive down to the farm. On arriving I took the camera in with me to show the return or should I say the seeing at last of the bird.
Short Eared Owl, Cossington Meadow.
Initially two birds were being harried by six magpies but by the time I had got myself sorted I just had the one bird and two magpies.
The tables turned and the Shortie seeing off the magpies.
After sometime one magpie returned and tried again to bother one of the bird but had no effect and soon gave up the chase.
This bird had crossed the track and flying towards the river and lake.
Circled around and landed on one of the fence post near the electric post.
The bird settled on this post for about fifteen minutes.
All the above shots are of the birds on the river side of the track.
This bird then transferred sides and was still sat on this post when I decided it was time to leave, by then it had been on the post for 25 minutes, so it must have had a full stomach.
Same bird just looking the other way.
Last image of the visit on the River side of the track.
Robin also with a full stomach of Hobnob biscuit.