One Of The New Neighbours

I posted last week about a pair of Little Owls that have moved into a dead Cork Oak near the Quinta.

This morning, I managed to grab a nice side-lit shot of one of them. I am still without my “big gun” after it suffering damage (good news is, it is being repaired, more on this soon), so I was armed with what I call my walkabout lens, the fab Nikon 80-400mm VR.

I’m looking forward to getting some great shots of these two and I am working out an angle so that I can hide and shoot, but until my 500mm lens has been repaired it is all in vain.

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Question, What Is Better Than A Little Owl………..?

…..Two Little Owls!

I posted on my Facebook Page a few days ago that I was ecstatic that after 4.5 years of living here I had heard and spotted a Little Owl close to the house. Some of you will say, “So what? They are everywhere!”, and you’d be right. The Little Owl is very common in the Algarve, however, even though the land around the Quinta is perfect for them, they have been absent, the closest I’ve found is about 1km away – SEE HERE.

I heard one this afternoon so grabbed the binoculars and spotted one sitting on the dead Cork Oak that I suspected it would choose as a nest spot. I didn’t realise at the time that I was looking at a pair (to be fair to Emma, she did say she heard 2 calling each other a few days ago). The tree is about 400 meters away from the Quinta so grabbed the camera with the 80-400mm lens, even so, the tree is still a long way away. Can you spot them both?


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An Old Owl Friend Or a New One?

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

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

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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