A New Project For Spring…

I’d been wondering what to do this spring, I had plenty of plans but with the Covid kicking in, all plans were cancelled. The trip to Sweden for Golden Eagles, the trip to Rome, just as it was on the list and there was a European photography award waiting for me. Even this years trip to the Camargue for the white horses has even been cancelled, this is seriously going to drive me nuts. I need a trip a month, at least…

I was covering a five day job recently, on the first trip in I saw a field, I remember saying “that’s a owl field”. Each day I passed I kept an eye out in hope, then by day three. There it was, a beautiful Barn Owl floating around the field, I pulled up for a few minutes to watch. One of my favourites, love working with these creatures. That evening armed with the new Canon 1DX Mk3 and the 600mm f4 I was on my way to where I saw the first sighting. The first time I visit a new site, I tend to tuck myself in a corner and mainly just watch. I’m looking for a routine, the more you watch the more your get used to their habits. At 5p.m. the owl appeared working its way up and down the field, great to grab a few shots hunting. Then off he went to his perch, ate his catch and then just rested. At 5.15p.m. the second owl appeared, this was so cool, again hunting, hovering and diving. Then this flew to its perch, so I’m sitting in a bush looking at both these birds through the lens. Then at 5.30p.m. the third Barn Owl flew in to the field, oh wow, I’d found three, I had been looking for one for the last year, now I had hit the jackpot.

I then went back a few days later and nothing, except a quick glimpse, but that doesn’t deter. It’s all about learning what the pattern is if they have one, their perches, their hunting grounds and most of all the times they are out. Five visits on and I have been lucky enough to see them every time or at least two every time. Unfortunately with the weather we have had lately the light has been pretty bad, pushing the camera to it’s limits and I’m still trying to get it dialled in, always takes a few months to get that new body just right. I did managed one visit with great light and the results I was happy with, but still looking for that one killer shot.

Over the next six months I will be making regular visits, I’m hoping for better light as the season goes on. They are starting to get use to me around the field, with one even landing within four metres of me. It is a great experience and therapy just to get out there and photograph these creatures, watching them manoeuvre and hunt. It’s just stunning…

More results to follow as the season goes on… Thanks for reading.. 

 

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