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An Old Owl Friend Or a New One?

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The local Little Owl I photographed earlier this year has been missing from it’s favourite perch on a dead tree stump for months. I have heard Little Owls in that area and simply put it down to the breeding season.

Last night we passed the tree stump on our way into the village and there was a Little Owl back on top.

This evening I decided to go and have a session with it, I arrived at the stump and the Owl was already sitting there, so turned to plan b. I drove away and prepared the car as a hide and then parked up close to the tree. I find that Little Owls can be approached in this way as long as they don’t see you. I had a camouflage net over the passenger window, a Photography Bean Bag over the top of the open window aperture with the camera resting on top. I managed to get some shots before it flew to various other trees as it was clearly hunting for it’s dinner. (the story continues below the photos)

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Little Owl - Mocho-galego - Athene noctua
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/160sec, f/8, ISO100
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This Week’s Featured Print: Ready To Pounce (Short-Eared Owl)

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This week’s featured print is also a new addition to the Shop, however, it was taken back in March 2016.

I spent many weeks photographing 2 Short-Eared Owls that were wintering in an area near the city of Derby in England, either arriving before sunrise or an hour before sunset. The were totally fine with my presence. Usually shooting with the 500mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter attached I was able to get some close-ups, but also some great atmospheric shots when the Owls where at a distance. Of course, the sunrise and sunset colours always providing an incredible backdrop.

With this particular shot the Owl had spotted something on the ground and was just about to pounce. It did, but came back up empty!

I printed this photograph to put on display at last weekends International Algarve Fair and it looks amazing printed and mounted behind glass, so it is now available for purchase and of course, is this week’s featured print.

Click the photo to view in the shop


Desperate For Some Nature, So I Visited The Local Little Owl

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The last 2 days have been early starts for 2 days of workshops and even though I’ve had a lot of fun, I was missing my dose of nature.

The late afternoon light was looking great so I paid the local Little Owl a visit, I made my way through some Esteva (Gum Rock Rose) and now I’m sitting here removing ticks! YUCK!

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Little Owl - Mocho-galego - Athene noctua
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A Local Little Owl

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Portugal has a large population of Little Owls and can often be heard calling and seen at anytime of day. However, locally to myself they are not found in large numbers. 2 years ago I spotted one near the Quinta on a few occasions but then never seen again. Until yesterday, I was heading into the village late afternoon and I spotted one sitting on the electricity cable in the same place I spotted one before.

This afternoon I decided to take a look and there it was sitting on an old tree stump. I almost missed it as it blended in so well. Armed with just my 80-400 lens I snapped these shots. It was incredibly tolerant of me being there too letting me get very close. As they are quite small, I need to go back with my 500mm lens (maybe even with the 1.4x converter) to grab some great detail shots. Hopefully more pictures soon, but for now, here you go.

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Little Owl - Mocho-galego - Athene noctua
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Possible Local Sighting Of A Short Eared Owl

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In March 2016 I spent many cold mornings and evenings standing in a Derbyshire (England) field watching and photographing a pair of Short Eared Owls hunting. After so much time waiting and watching I developed a fascination of these incredible hunters.

Whilst driving/riding (still don’t what to call it when you are on a Quad Bike) near a flood plain this afternoon, something caught the corner of my eye. It was a bird of prey hunting. I wasn’t close enough to identify it, however, it was flying low over perfect Short Eared Owl hunting terrain and performing swooping acrobatics I remembered from my time the Derbyshire field.

I’m still to have my 500mm f/4 lens returned from Nikon and now it’s becoming frustrating as I’ll need it to have any chance of capturing some good shots.

As a throwback, here is my gallery from last time with Short Eared Owls and can only hope my 500mm f/4 is returned soon.

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Short Eared Owls

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